Celebrities may want to resist the urge to post their thoughts on Twitter in 2012 after so many of them tweeted their way into trouble after posting comments on everything from boxer briefs to breastfeeding in 2011.
Probably the greatest self-inflicted Twitter wound was suffered by Anthony Weiner. He was an influential Democratic congressman from New York until June, when he tweeted a photo of his bulging underwear to a female college student. At first Weiner claimed his Twitter account had been hacked but later admitted he was responsible and resigned from office.
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried did not have his career ruined by Twitter but it did cost him a lucrative gig. Gottfried fired off several joke tweets in March about the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In one message, he said, “Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.” Gottfried was roundly criticised in the media and insurance company Aflac Inc fired him as the voice of its iconic duck in television commercials.
Actor Ashton Kutcher had been a master of Twitter before his miscue. In Novem-ber, Kutcher created a public uproar when he tweeted a defense of revered Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who was fired in the fallout from a sexual abuse scandal involving one of his assistant coaches. Kutcher apologised in a blog post and said he did not know about the abuse scandal when he sent the off-the-cuff tweet that read, “How do you fire Jo Pa?” He also pledged to have his staff at Katalyst manage his Twitter account, as opposed to posting on his own as he had done before.
Actor Charlie Sheen became a Twitter sensation with millions of followers as he ranted about “winning” a rift with his producers that led to him losing his job on the hit television comedy “Two and a Half Men”.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2012.