A number of celebs in trouble over offensive old tweets
Social media has ushered in an era in which words cannot be unsaid.
Whilst in the days before the internet you could say things in private that had a relatively short lifespan, the internet age has immortalised our words for all to see.
And while for many this just means we're crippled with embarrassment by our teen statuses about shopping and being at sleepovers with friends, for celebrities it can be career-ending.
You okay, hun? x
Both youtube vlogger Zoella Sugg and Gay Times editor Josh Rivers have been forced to apologise this week for a number of their hugely offensive old tweets.
It's already been a bad week for 27 year old youtuber Zoella, as fans were outraged over the price of her 12 day advent calendar.
The star released an advent calendar priced at £50, despite its cheap contents only being worth around £21, inundating her with criticisms that she was exploiting young fans.
Zoella's week only went from bad to worse, as her critics began to delve a bit deeper in their quest to expose the vlogger's other less-than-perfect side.
As a result, a number of Zoella's hugely insensitive (and now deleted) tweets began circulating Twitter under the hashtag #ZoellaIsOverParty. The tweets included homophobic, classist and sizeist slurs.
The tweets, though written between 5 and 7 years ago, were typed by a 20 year old Zoella.
They include numerous derogatory uses of the word fat, a number of snobbish tweets targeted at those clearly less well off than her incredibly privileged self, and many uses of misogynistic language.
People using the fact Zoella was only 20 when she wrote those tweets. I'm sorry but am I on another planet? At 20 years old u know right from wrong & what is and isn't appropriate to say in real life and on social media #ZoellaIsOverParty— VictoriaT 💋 (@TezangiVictoria) November 15, 2017
If employers can fire employees for stuff they tweeted when they were younger, why is it any different when Zoella is called out for it? #ZoellaIsOverParty— india 🍁 (@chibikiui) November 15, 2017
To all the fans defending Zoella: Would you excuse Kevin Spacey for sexual assault that happened 30 years ago because ‘people change and he’s made such a success of himself he doesn’t deserve all this hate blah blah blah’? Because I know I wouldn’t. (1/2) #ZoellaIsOverParty— Charlie Rose (@PetroleumCATS) November 16, 2017
Many defenders of the vlogger and entrepreneur have pointed to the dates of the tweets, which were mostly written between 2010-2012.
However, Zoella was still between the ages of 20-23, an age at which you categorically know that homophobia and other such slurs are not acceptable in private, let alone publicly on social media.
In similar fashion, recently appointed Gay Times editor Josh Rivers has been found in equally hot water as his old racist, homophobic and classist tweets began to emerge on Twitter, as well.
Rivers' tweets, which were written mostly between 2010 and 2011, include racist remarks against Africans and Asians, as well as anti-semitic comments against Judaism.
Rivers has since been suspended from his role of editor at Gay Times, the oldest publication for gay men. The Gay Times have launched a formal investigation, stating it will take appropriate action.
Both celebrities have since issued apologies. However, many are less than satisfied.
I’ve seen a few of my old tweets from 7/8 years ago floating around (which I have now deleted) using words like “chav” “skank” and other words I wouldn’t use now as part of my language and lot of them were taken out of context referring to TV shows but I would never say those— Zoella (@Zoella) November 15, 2017
things now and I’m sorry if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. Obviously that is not who I am today and I’d like to think I’m a little older and wiser! I’m not perfect and I’ve never claimed to be, I’m only human!— Zoella (@Zoella) November 15, 2017
Zoella's tweets fell into the classic 'I'm only human/ not perfect' non-apology... Sorry Zoella, you don't have to be 'perfect' to know that these tweets were insensitive af.
She topped this off with 'I'm sorry IF I offended anyone'... the operative 'if' making her apology utterly redundant. You did offend people, Zoella, and you should apologise as such.
Similarly, Rivers' issued an apology last night,
To every single person who is hurt, offended and disappointed: I’m sorry. pic.twitter.com/XAwz7llKxc— Josh Rivers (@_joshrivers) November 15, 2017
‘The tweets are horrible. They are abhorrent. They are ugly. They are so hateful.'
At the time of writing, Gay Times released a statement that Rivers' tweets were not in line with their beliefs, announcing that his employment has been terminated, only a month after he began in the role. All of his articles have been removed from the publication.
A statement from Gay Times regarding Josh Rivers. pic.twitter.com/nJ7gDLxE7e— Gay Times (@GayTimesMag) November 16, 2017
'We announce that his employment as been terminated with immediate effect.'
It just goes to show: everything you say is eternalised on social media. So if you wouldn't say it out loud, or to someone's face, then don't post it online.