Ashton Kutcher is apologizing for a controversial tweet he wrote following the ouster of longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who had come under fire in recent weeks due to an ongoing child-abuse scandal that has rocked the university, community and highly respected athletic program.
In the hours after Paterno — who had served as head coach of the Nittany Lions for 46 years — was fired by Penn State, Kutcher took to his Twitter account to criticize the move, writing "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass ... I find it in poor taste." Of course, after that tweet earned him thousands of rebukes from fans, the actor deleted it from his account and admitted that he wasn't aware of the full story when he wrote it.
"This is an insane story, I just heard Paterno was fired, getting the rest of the story now ..." he wrote. "Fully recant previous tweet.
"As an advocate in the fight against child exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn State case," he added. "As of immediately I will stop Tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed. I feel awful about this error. Won't happen again."
Kutcher is a co-founder of the DNA Foundation, an organization that aims to "help end child sex slavery."
Paterno and Penn State University president Graham Spanier were let go during an emergency meeting by the school's board of trustees Wednesday night, just hours after Paterno announced he planned to retire at the end of the football season. The announcement of his firing led to student protests and rioting in downtown State College, Pennsylvania.
The drama stems from an ongoing investigation into child sex-abuse accusations filed against former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and perjury charges against two university officials. Since news of the scandal broke, Paterno had come under increasing scrutiny for how he responded after learning of an alleged incident involving Sandusky and a child in 2002. After learning of the incident from an eyewitness, Paterno reportedly told the school's athletic director, but not police, according to prosecutors in the case. Sandusky, a PSU coach from 1969 to 1999, has been charged with 21 felony counts of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span.