The Penn State scandal has been all over the news, and so to many, the firing last night of longtime coach Joe Paterno came as no surprise.
Ashton Kutcher apparently hasn't been paying attention. And when you have nearly 8 and a half million followers, you need to know what's going on. Wednesday night, Kutcher tweeted "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste."
And then the fans pushed back. Reaction was immediate and angry.
"How do you bang skanks on your wedding anniversary?" Texan Jenny Johnson retorted, referring of course to the tabloid reports of Kutcher's supposed extramarital activities.
Some had fun mocking the actor by mimicking the tweet. A user named Uncle Dynamite tweeted "Charles Manson didn't make parole AGAIN??!! And he was informed by REGISTERED MAIL??!! #insult @noclass."
Justin Stangel, head writer and executive producer for the "Late Show with David Letterman,"addressed Kutcher's work with the Demi and Ashton Foundation, which seeks to help end child sex slavery. "Tell me if I'm right," Stangel tweeted at Kutcher. "You're against child trafficking unless it's with college football staff."
Kutcher removed the tweet about a half-hour after he sent it, but of course the damage was done. He's apologized, however, posting that "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 also wrote, "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."
Some fans urged forgiveness for the actor's remark. Said one fan, the colorfully named Spazzberry103, "Everyone puts their foot in their mouth once in a while. Just have to pull it out and start walking forward again. Still luv ya!!"
Update: Kutcher issued an even longer apology on Thursday, saying Twitter had changed from when he first began using it, turning from a real-time conversation to a mass-publishing platform. He also elaborated on his Paterno tweet, saying he sent his comment based solely on a headline he saw on TV, writing "I assumed that the universiry had let him go due to football-related issues."
It's unclear how Kutcher was able to completely miss coverage of the headline-dominating scandal until then, or why, upon seeing a headline, leapt to an assumption and decided to tweet about it without any additional information, but he's obviously regretting it now.
Kutcher writes that an hour after he sent the tweet, he found out about the scandal via ESPN and then went back and saw all the angry responses to his message. "A collection of over 8 million followers is not to be taken for granted,
he writes. "I feel responsible for delivering an informed opinion and not spreading gossip or rumors through my twitter feed."
So now the unvarnished Kutcherisms that have both landed him in some hot water and entertained many will be neutered, as the actor is turning the feed over to his representatives to apparently censor and spin.
"While I will continue to express myself through @Aplusk I'm going to turn the management of the feed over to my team at Katalyst Media to ensure the quality of its content," he writes. My sincere apologies to anyone who I offended."