Social media is a powerful tool. We know that it can help raise awareness, promote an idea and highlight a moment. But while everyone is watching, reading and listening…it can back fire on you with disastrous results. Let’s take a look at three celebrities who took to their social accounts and rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
Don’t blame it on the drugs, blame it on your fingers
Comedian actress Roseanne Barr enjoyed great press as her TV sitcom Roseanne returned to the small screen earlier this year with rave reviews and strong television ratings. The current trend of reviving old programming in the modern era worked for the 65-year old. However, what got her in trouble was her racist comments made on Twitter about Valerie Jarrett, the senior advisor to former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Her May 29th dismissal by broadcaster ABC also resulted in the termination of the Roseanne show. When you have a network that is backed by Disney and an employee with no filter like Roseanne Barr, it is a recipe for disaster. Roseanne tried to back pedal and say she was tweeting, while medicated, but the damage was done. Her TV show was cancelled, her cast mates were angry and temporarily jobless, while being vilified by the press.
Burner accounts are for everyone…including executives?
Former NBA executive Bryan Colangelo can be described as a genius who knows basketball operations and also a slimy, two faced, dishonest man all in the same sentence. The former president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers can be credited for laying the seeds in scouting young talent and building them into contenders. He did that previously for the Toronto Raptors, earning 2007 executive of the year honours leading the franchise to the Atlantic division title.
But fast forward to 2018, it was reported that he was using five Twitter ghost accounts known in the digital space as burner accounts, to talk negatively about players on his own team. The accounts also shared private team information leaked for public view. His own wife was implicated in the whole ordeal, which led the team to firing him on June 7th. Moral of the story here: No one is safe on social media. You can create “x” amount of accounts all you want…but one way or another, your secret will be revealed and you will be outed like Colangelo was.
Jokes from the dead don’t sit well with everyone
Amercian actress Katherine Heigl recently joined the cast of Suits, which films in downtown Toronto. While not shooting on the weekend, she made a 1.5 hour drive to Buffalo to visit some family. While touring through a cemetery where her own relatives were buried, she made some insensitive comedic gestures roasting the dead. Heigl tried to enlighten the mood at the grave site, but it did not sit well with her Instagram story followers.
Once the former Grey’s Anatomy star caught wind of the offensive responses, she quickly deleted the stories and issued a video apology. Sometimes we feel like we can share any piece of content on social media and not think twice about how it might affect others. In this case, the 39-year-old actress is no different and she was savvy enough to take quick action which could have turned into a disaster PR move for her career.
Social media can reward you and burn you if you let it
These three cases of public figures misusing social media are just a few examples of the backlash you can face if you don’t use any of the digital platforms wisely. It can happen to anyone, from a regular civilian to a high profiled celebrity. The larger your audience is, the larger your reach grows as well. But it can also mean that your every social media movement is traced, studied and critiqued. Always make sure to be self aware of what you post on social media. We live in an ultra sensitive climate these days and while your original intentions are not hurtful, others can interpret it in the wrong way.