After Penn State Flub, Ashton Kutcher Will Let PR Team Manage Twitter Account

Picked the Wrong Week to Get Indignant Over Paterno's Firing

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"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 as a secondary editorial measure, to ensure the quality of its content," wrote Ashton Kutcher on his blog today. Now why would the TV, movie and Twitter celebrity do such a thing?

Because of the outrage he'd caused with the following tweet: "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste."

"Jo Pa" is , of course, Joe Paterno, the legendary football coach of Penn State University who was fired, along with college president Graham Spanier, "amid the growing furor over how the school handled child-sex abuse allegations against assistant coach Jerry Sandusky." Sandusky was arrested and indicted on 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys, and some of the events reportedly not only occurred while he was employed at Penn State, but in Penn State facilities. (If you have the stomach for it, read the indictment here.)

So, yeah, rushing to Jo Pa's defense on Twitter seemed a particularly stupid thing to do. But Kutcher's version of events, which is plausible, went like so: "Last night after returning home from work, I walked by the television and simply saw a headline that Joe Paterno had been fired. Having no more information than that , I assumed that he had been fired due to poor performance as an aging coach."

According to Kutcher's account, by the time he returned to Twitter, he was being called an idiot and worse. He deleted the tweet and went silent. Gawker, among others, picked up the story, calling his silence "the only good thing to come out of the Penn State scandal" and pointing out that "standing up for Paterno, who barely blinked when he learned his underling was a potential child predator back in 2002, is at odds with Ashton's ... crusade against child sex slavery."

At any rate, Kutcher is handing the management of the account over to Katalyst. It will be interesting (for those interested in such things) to see if anointing an intermediary will have an impact on his 8,274,044 followers on Twitter. (And hopefully, those in the PR community will resist the urge to declare this some sort of victory for their own community.)

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