Another day, another celebrity puts his foot in his mouth on Twitter. Can't managers or publicists do anything to keep Roger Ebert or Cee Lo Green from making idiots of themselves online?
—Car167, via the inbox
Actually, in the matter of Roger Ebert vs. Bam Margera, I side with Ebert. When a star dies, journalists aren't paid to serve tea and crumpets; we're supposed to analyze while it's still timely. (As for Margera, I am truly sorry for his loss, but "millions of people" are not "crying" over the death of his co-star Ryan Dunn.) But as for CeeLo Green—and Blake Shelton, and Chris Brown, and ad infinitum, they all could use some time away from their smart phones:
Too bad that, for the most part, managers and other minions are powerless to stop them.
Some big studios, such as Disney, put their moppets through a kind of Internet-privacy boot camp as part of their media training. The seminar lasts for one day, and includes topics like Don't Let Your Naked Jailbait Self Show Up Online. (For the record, it doesn't appear that Vanessa Hudgens caught that seminar.)
Also, big-time publicity firms may intervene if their clients get too tweety.
5W also previews tweets for clients.
"I get notes throughout the day, saying, ‘Is this [tweet] OK?" In fact, one 5W client sends over a batch of proposed Tweets at the beginning of every week for publicists to vet, Torossian tells me. (Per the Times, power publicist Kelly Bush, who reps Catherine Keener, Diane Lane and others, also previews clients' Tweets.)
But remember: Publicists and managers exert this kind of control only with the permission of a star. Most flunkies—publicists, especially—are really at the mercy of their clients. They can warn. They can scold. They can even threaten to quit. But in the end, all a star's team can do is mop up after a Twitter disaster.
"It's not like the old days, when a Liz Rosenberg type could have controlled a client and told them to behave and they would do it," remarks manager Marrissa O'Leary, whose clients, such as model-actress Amy Weber, tweet freely. "Publicists can't control the media anymore, and they can't control their clients anymore."