With this tweet in response to the firing tonight of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, Ashton Kutcher –- who has more than 8 million followers on Twitter — risked having his own Brett Ratner moment:
@aplusk: How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste
The tweet certainly ran against the grain of those who felt that Paterno’s lack of follow-through on the allegations of child rape against longtime assistant and associate Jerry Sandusky over roughly a decade merited a decisive response. But while everyone’s entitled to their opinion, numerous people on Twitter pointed out the weirdness of the stance, considering that Kutcher and wife Demi Moore have a foundation dedicated to fighting child sex slavery.
TV insider @maskedscheduler also issued the following reply that highlighted the oddity of the tweet coming from Kutcher, the newly crowned “Two and a Half Men” star in place of Charlie Sheen:
Hey @aplusk why don’t you ask your boss why you fire reprehensible people. He’ll school you. You jerk.
Ongoing coverage of the firing of Paterno was carried by ESPN but was outshined at first by CNN, which had better camera coverage for many of the key moments (including a brewing student protest that devolved into violence) and could complete it completely as a news story, rather than be forced to also wrestle with the football implications. But CNN eventually then went to its Piers Morgan show, leaving the coverage to ESPN.
Update: The Kutcher tweet was deleted approximately 30 minutes after it had been posted, and was followed by a new set of tweets in which he said he was “ignorant” as to why Paterno had been fired. So some water was quickly poured on that fire.