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Fallout from Twitter

RRabbit42 September 2, 2012 User blog:RRabbit42

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As you may know or may have found out by being directed here from another page, there has been an uproar over the comments made by an actor associated with Nickelodeon during the past week. For those of you who don't know, here's a recap:

Earlier in August, Jason Biggs made some poor comments or jokes on his Twitter account. At the end of last week, he decided to make sexual comments about the wives of the Republican candidates for President and Vice President of the United States.

As is the nature of the Internet, this is quickly being spotlighted as offensive. Since Jason has a role as a voice actor for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon premiering at the end of the month, the call is going out to have him fired, and to boycot Nickelodeon and any companies that advertise on that channel until he is fired.


Here's my take on the situation:

What he did was stupid. It's likely to cost him the role on TMNT, just as the jokes Gilbert Gottfried made in 2011 cost him the role of the Aflac duck.

Because we now have a worldwide means of recording information, when someone does something stupid, no matter how big or how small, it gets permanently recorded at least once on the Internet and it's almost impossible to remove it. For some things, it's good and important to remember the stupidity and you wouldn't want the information erased. It can lead to social reform or be a part of the history of important events around the world.

It used to be that if you did something stupid, it might be localized (your friends, family or neighbors) and embarassing for only a short while. It might be recorded in a newspaper or in a history book and it would take a while for that information to spread. But now when you do something stupid, more people find out about it quicker and it's much harder to live it down. And it becomes a painful lesson in exactly how permanent temporary stupidity can be, especially when it's done directly on the Internet at a site like Twitter. It may also show whether it really is temporary stupidity or whether it's a more accurate representation of your ongoing behavoir.

Right now, it's the middle of the Labor Day weekend in the United States. We probably won't hear anything from Nickelodeon until Tuesday. The first thing that will happen is they will make an announcement that they are aware of the situation and will evaluate it. (Sears is the first indirectly-affected company to do this.) Next will be messages that show they are trying to put distance between themselves and Jason Biggs. After that will likely be the announcement that he has been dismissed from the show.

Where it goes from there, we don't know yet. There is a period of just over two weeks where Nickelodeon could, if they wanted to, hold auditions for a new actor and re-record all of Jason's lines in the episodes that are already finished. There's several well-known voice actors such as Maurice LaMarche, Dee Bradley Baker, Billy West or Mick Wingert that could do the job.


Rehashing the same info

What I find interesting is that all of the uproar can be traced back to one site: Twitchy.com. They were the first to report what happened. All other sites that mention Biggs' comments don't have anything different to say. They all pretty much link back to and quote Twitchy. So we have a case where all of the news of this event so far is just a rehash of what everyone else is saying.

Maybe that's how "news" works today. As for me, I can wait to see what the fallout will be. I don't need a minute-by-minute rehash of the same information.


Comments:

I'm going to open this up for comments. If you want to discuss what happened, go ahead.

But if you only want to vent your own anger and hatred over what he said, take a moment and think.

  • Is it going to improve the situation?
  • Is expressing this kind of anger really important enough to have it recorded for others to see?

If you can't say Yes to both and you still want to go ahead with leaving a comment, it might be better if you waited or else went to a different site. Jason probably didn't stop to think about the ramifications of what he said. Look where that got him. Try not to do the same thing yourself.

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