Since its inception in 2006, it goes without saying that Twitter has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. The social network boasts 284 million active users as of 2014.
In just 140 characters, people can tweet their thoughts, share pictures, ask questions, and express their views. Among the millions of users, celebrities have found a voice on the social media site and have discovered a way of connecting with their fan base. Nothing makes a fan feel more connected to their favorite celebrity than following them on Twitter, and even sometimes getting a mention or retweet from their favorite super star. Celebrities tend to have followers ranging in the millions, and the numbers continue to grow.
But what happens when a celebrity tweets a bit too much of their mind? Well, unfortunately for them, what has been posted is forever – even if the celebrity tries to delete the tweet that got them in trouble. The following are the 20 most glaring examples of ill-advised, cringe-worthy and even offensive tweets that celebrities have ever put out there on social media.
Whether they received backlash or their publicist had to quickly swoop in to do damage control, these tweets caused quite a controversy and some red faces for the celeb tweeters involved.
20. Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin‘s tweet may seem innocent and trivial enough, but there was a lot going on behind the scenes that his Twitter followers didn’t know about. When Baldwin tweeted…
“Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving, #nowonder-americaairisbankrupt”
…. while he was being escorted off the plane for refusing to stop playing the game, Words With Friends, on his iPad.
While Baldwin didn’t apologize for the tweet itself, he issued an apology to his fellow plane passengers who may have been inconvenienced from his removal from the plane. Baldwin has since stepped back from Twitter.
19. Orlando Jones
Orlando Jones managed to not only tick off his fan base, but to find himself on the receiving end of some harsh backlash for his tweet:
“Libyan Rebels kill Gaddafi, if American liberals want respect they better stop listening to Aretha & kill Sarah Palin(:”
The former MADtv star was criticized for not only promoting violence against a political figure, but also for comparing Sarah Palin to Muammar Gaddafi. Jones was completely unapologetic about the tweet and went so far as to recommend that if people were upset by his Twitter account, then they ought not read it.
18. Anna Kendrick
While it seemed to be clear that Anna Kendrick‘s tweet;
“”Ugh – NEVER going to a Ryan Gosling movie in a theater again. Apparently masturbating in the back row is still considered ‘inappropriate'”
was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, some members of the public didn’t think it was so funny. The comment was retweeted over 21,000 times, which gave it more exposure than perhaps the starlet had anticipated. Kendrick was criticized for the “tasteless” joke by several organizations, especially those of conservative women, while other people applauded the joke and seemed to give an approving nod.
What made the tweet so controversial in the first place was the fact that numerous people and news outlets thought that the star was actually serious.
17. Anthony Weiner
There’s no eloquent way to describe how Anthony Weiner offended people on his Twitter; tweeted a photo of his private parts in men’s underwear for the world to see.
The man had once hoped to be mayor of New York City, but with a tweet of just 24 characters that consisted of a link, his political career and public image were completely destroyed.
Originally, Weiner blamed the photo on hackers, but after investigations were done and other allegations were surfacing, the public had to face the fact that Weiner did indeed tweet the inappropriate photo. Weiner soon after resigned from his position.
16. Kenneth Cole
This next one just goes to show you that celebs can’t be too careful who they put on their marketing team.
Kenneth Cole is known as being at the forefront of major fashion, and someone at his firm thought it would be humorous to use the revolutions of the Arab Spring as a marketing opportunity. They were very wrong. From Cole’s official Twitter account, a tweet was sent reading;
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”
The company saw the mistake and removed the tweet immediately with a sincere apology, but in the world of the Internet, it was too late. The backlash had already begun and Kenneth Cole had to do some major damage control.
15. Roger Ebert
Anyone fan of the Jackass franchise or any of Bam Margera’s shows will remember the day that it was announced that Ryan Dunn was killed from drinking and driving. The fan base publicly grieved as videos of Bam surfaced visiting the site where his best friend died.
In the midst of the grief, film critic Roger Ebert tweeted;
“Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive”,
before it was officially declared that Dunn’s death was alcohol related. Ebert issued a statement and apology saying that he meant no cruelty when it came to his tweet, but he stood by the statement that friends should not let friends drive drunk.
When Ice-T tweeted,
“Bad Joke… But alotta those wives would make me consider it”,
he was referencing the fact that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘ Taylor Armstrong’s husband, Russell, had committed suicide. From the show and recent press, the man was dealing with a lot of personal demons, a newly filed divorce, and accusations that he abused his wife. When news of his death surfaced, reality stars and celebrities tweeted out their support and condolences to Armstrong.
But Ice-T’s insensitive tweet stuck out like a sore thumb. The “Law & Order: SVU” star and rapper’s comment was not appreciated and was heavily criticized on mass media and by Armstrong’s fan base.
13. Keri Hilson
American singer and songwriter Keri Hilson found herself dealing with backlash and accusations of being insensitive after tweeting
“*gasp* Amy Winehouse resurrected to party w/ me!!! (seriously, uncanny resemblance)”
after encountering a drunk Amy Winehouse look-a-like. Grieving Amy Winehouse fans took to Twitter to attack the singer. It wasn’t the first time that she received backlash from Winehouse’s fan base.
When news of Winehouse’s death first became known, Hilson tweeted, “Amy Winehouse…so tragic. I loved her. She inspired me! I kept hoping she’d find a happier place than her self destructive state…damn.”
People felt that referencing the “self destructive” state was insensitive and cruel.
12. Scott Baio
Scott Baio managed to alienate and offend many of his followers by tweeting
“Taxes are DONE…That should feed, house & provide medical for a few lazy non working people at my expense. Have a great Monday!”
The popular Gawker media blog Jezebel picked up the tweet and made their disapproving opinions on Baio’s tweet known, and it escalated into a near digital war between the blog site, Baio, and his wife.
Then Baio’s fan base got involved in the fight and major news organizations picked up on the battle. It just goes to show you that if you’re famous and you want to maintain all of your fans, some personal political opinions may be best kept private.
11. Chris Brown
After Chris Brown got into serious trouble for beating up his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, he was evidently having a hard time dealing with the public backlash against his actions. The rapper finally blew up saying,
“I know a lot of you wack ass (OLD) celebrities probably wanna f— my ex, but talking sh-t on me wont get you far! and to be REALLY HONEST, ya’ll wonder why ni— spazzes all the time?”
His tweet really raised the bar when it comes to public celebrity meltdowns. However, Brown seemed to regret his words, as his Twitter rant was deleted soon after.
10. Blake Shelton
The country music sensation found himself at the receiving end of accusations of being homophobic after he tweeted,
“Rewriting my fav Shania Twain song.. Any man that tries Touching my behind He’s gonna be a beaten, bleedin’, heaving kind of guy …”
LGBT leaders immediately criticized Blake Shelton for turning Twain’s song about female empowerment into a song about hate crimes. Shelton soon made a statement apologizing for offending people, saying that his tweet was misunderstood, and that it was originally meant to be from a female perspective. Most weren’t entirely convinced by this excuse…
9. Jim Carrey
“No wife is blind enough to miss that much infidelity. Elin had 2 b a willing participant on the ride 4 whatever reason. kids/lifestyle ;^)”
The tweet was considered to be an odd Twitter attack on Woods’ former wife, and it sparked controversy as well as a mix of negative and positive feedback from his followers. Carrey had to clarify that he was not approving of infidelity and that Woods had to fix things within himself before trying to fix things around him.
8. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian came under massive fire from animal lovers and animal rights activists in 2010 after posting a photo of herself holding a kitten by the scruff of its neck.
Perhaps it’s because she is a Kardashian, or maybe it’s because she was holding the internet’s favourite animal, but she was met with tons of accusations of animal cruelty and received much backlash for the tweeted photo. Kardashian didn’t apologize for her actions, but instead basically told everyone to calm down. She stated on her blog;
“Rest assured, the owner and vet were on set and showed me how to pick him up. The cat was not harmed in any way and is perfectly fine! I love animals and would never do anything to harm animals.”
7. Ashton Kutcher
In 2011, at the height of the Penn State controversy, coach Joe Paterno found himself fired for his conscious refusal to deal with Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children.
Ashton Kutcher took to Twitter to express his disgust at Paterno’s firing, saying to his eight million followers;
“How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.”
Twitter literally blew up after he made the statement and Kutcher claims that he didn’t know about the sex abuse scandal before posting his tweet. After realizing his mistake, he made numerous remorseful statements and reminded the public about his advocacy work in helping children who have been abused.
6. Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow got a lot of backlash for her tweet,
“N****s in Paris for real”
which divided the hip-hop community. The tweet was accompanied with a photo with Jay-Z and Kanye West. Several hip hop artists gave the actress a “free pass” to use the word, while other members of the community thought the tweet was offensive and disgusting.
The mainstream media took the tweet and ran with the story, adding embellishments and exaggerations that only made the situation worse. However, Paltrow defended her actions saying that the tweet was the title of a song and was taken out of controversy. The controversy was named, “N-Word Gate.”
5. CeeLo Green
CeeLo Green met some heat in September 2014 with his tweet,
“if someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent”
which implied that sexual assault is only sexual assault if the other person is conscious. However, despite the backlash and people openly tweeting their disgust at the singer’s comments, he issued what many would call a non-apology. That is, he was sorry that some were offended by his comments, and he was only trying to start a discussion about the scenario. He apologized for his comments being taken out of context, and he also deleted his Twitter account not long after.
4. Michael Moore
Michael Moore recently tweeted several comments regarding Eastwood’s latest divisive film, “American Sniper”, regarding the public reaction and idolatry of real-life protagonist, Chris Kyle. His first comment was:
“My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.”
Moore did end up backing off, but he didn’t apologize for the statement. Then, he tweeted:
“Tomorrow’s Sunday School (1) What Would Jesus Do? Oh, I know what he’d do — hide on top of a roof and shoot people in the back!” and proceeded to tweet several more comments regarding his thoughts on the Christ-like pedestal that Chris Kyle has been set upon by traditional American audiences. Many more liberal commentators took Moore’s side, but plenty of right wing fans of the film were incensed.
3. Gilbert Gottfried
In 2011, Japan was devastated by a massive tsunami that cost thousands of lives and destroyed the worlds of many others. The world was mourning. But Gilbert Gottfried was making light of the situation by tweeting from @RealGilbert saying,
“Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.”
But he didn’t just stop there, he continued to post a series of tsunami jokes, much to the disgust of the public. The Twitter joking ended up costing his job with Aflac as the voice of the Aflac duck. Gottfried did eventually release an apology, but many felt it was too little too late.
2. 50 Cent
Gilbert Gottfriend wasn’t the only one who was tweeting remarks about the Japan tsunami. Rapper 50 Cent also had his own banter with tweets saying,
“Wave will hit 8am them crazy white boys gonna try to go surfing” / “Its all good Till b*tches see there [sic] christian louboutins floating down da street sh*t gone get crazy.”
But unlike Gottfried, 50 Cent didn’t apologize for his words, instead stating that he does it for shock value and it’s up to you whether you like it or hate it. Whether it was his original remark, or the fact that he was unapologetic, 50 Cent’s approach to this natural disaster tainted his reputation significantly.
1. Jason Biggs
Jason Biggs found himself in hot water after he tweeted from his account @JasonBiggs,
“Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Airlines frequent flier miles?”
This tweet occurred 65 minutes after it was announced that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had crashed. Needless to say, the timing of the tweet, combined with the content, came across as insensitive, heartless, and making light of a tragic situation.
Immediately after the tweet was posted, followers began to reply with their disgust over Biggs’ words. The offensive tweet was soon deleted and Biggs issued a four part Twitter apology, which was fairly well-received by the public.