Attention, celebrities of Earth: let Ashton Kutcher's mistake (and man, was it a big one) be a lesson to you all—think before you tweet. Or at the very least, have some grasp of knowledge about a topic before sounding off.
Unfortunately for him, Ashton did neither last night, and felt the full rage of the Twitterverse unlike any backlash he's endured before (and people thought that sordid tabloid scandal was bad for his image).
So what caused this avalanche of Twitter hate to flow to the tweeter formerly known as aplusk?
Oh, just a little defense of those at the center of a burgeoning child-abuse sex scandal.
"How do you fire Jo Pa?" Kutcher tweeted last night in a message that has since (along with several others) been deleted from his feed. "#insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste."
Unfortunately for Kutcher, he wasn't the only one who was offended by poor taste last night.
The response was not only quick but unrelenting as the actor's 8 million followers seemed to act as one, lambasting the star for clearly not being aware of the finer details (heck, even the larger details) surrounding the scandal.
Joe Paterno, the beloved, long-running and winningest coach in major college football history, was fired from Penn State Wednesday night. But clearly unbeknownst to Kutcher, it was not over "a football thing," but rather over concerns that Paterno did not do everything in his power to stop alleged serial pedophile and former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who was arrested over the weekend and accused of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span.
Needless to say, Kutcher was quickly made aware of his ill-informed gaffe through such constructive and heavily RT'd comments as:
"Ashton Kutcher: Against child trafficking unless it involves college football."
"Ashton Kutcher and Rick Perry should just hold each other till the sun rises."
"The only good to come from the Penn State scandal: Ashton Kutcher has stopped tweeting. #PSU"
"This will not be a good 15-to-20 minutes to be Ashton Kutcher. Then back to normal, I'd assume."
Needless to say, the message was received loud and clear, and Kutcher—credit to him—quickly acknowledged his mistake and began retweeting some of his more hateful, "idiot"-fueled comments by way of agreeing with them and showing his remorse, responding to one tweeter who, speaking for many, presumably, asked where he'd been the past three days to be so wholly uninformed on the national scandal. "Working" was the reply.
"Had no idea, thought it was a football thing," he began, in a series of tweets that has also since been deleted. "Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet! Didn't have full story. #admitwhenyoumakemistakes"
He then went into more formal apology mode.
"As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case," he tweeted.
"As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed. I feel awful about this error. Won't happen again."
For his sake, we hope not.