The actor, still smarting from the hailstorm of criticism that followed an ill-informed tweet of support for Joe Paterno, has handed management of his Twitter account over to his team at Katalyst Group “as a secondary editorial measure, to ensure the quality of its content.”
Ashton Kutcher has made a terrible mistake.
We are reminded of something Katt Williams once said while refusing to apologize for controversial remarks: “The only thing I sell is uncensored thought.” It was uncensored thought that helped earn Kutcher over eight million Twitter followers, not carefully edited and crafted posts. The authenticity of his online presence was part of the appeal. It offered the public a level of accessibility to celebrity that was unprecedented, and his embrace of the medium was frankly pretty ballsy.
Sure, it’s hard to screw up when the world is watching. And when it involves something as horrific as the sexual abuse of children, an issue close to Kutcher’s heart, well, of course he’s shaken up. We can understand why he now wants to retreat, to place the usual buffer of managers and publicists between himself and the unwashed masses. But to sell it as a public service to his followers is just absurd.
Kutcher’s Twitter feed isn’t the goddamned New York Times, and no reasonable person expects it to be. Most of his over eight million followers would rather have the real article, warts and all, than whatever his management team can offer. And maybe, once the smoke has cleared, Kutcher will realize that’s more important than playing it safe.