- (Photo: Reuters)
Ashton Kutcher caused a social media uproar Wednesday night when he prematurely defended Penn State coach Joe Paterno who was fired Wednesday for failing to report allegations of child sex abuse.
Kutcher, whose Twitter handle is @aplusk, tweeted, "How do you fire Jo Pa? #Insult #Noclass. As a Hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste."
The “Two and a Half Men" star received highly critical responses to his tweet. The controversial statement has since been removed from his page.
Kutcher's cringe-worthy sentiment(s) immediately sparked a full-blown digital name calling affair with thousands of Twitter users hurling negative terms at the well-known actor. Names included "idiot" and some suggested that the star, married to actress Demi Moore, "use his brain" in the future.
Paterno, coach of the Nittany Lions for the past 46 years at Penn State, came under public scrutiny for the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse accusations that happened in 2002. The incident involved former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with 40 felony and misdemeanor counts of allegedly sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span.
According to case prosecutors, Paterno reportedly told the school's athletic director but not police about the incident.
"Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet!" Kutcher later said to his more than 8 million followers. He also wrote, "Didn’t have full story" and included a hashtag that read, "#Admit when you make mistakes."
He later tweeted, "As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn State case."
Kutcher expressed that he felt "awful" about the error. In response to the negative feedback he received, Kutcher has opted to take a vow of silence on his account until he can find a way to "properly manage" his feed.
Kutcher is co-founder of the DNA Foundation, an organization that aims to "help end child sex slavery."