It would have to take something scandalous to force Ashton Kutcher to leave his beloved Twitter. Something like a tweet defending pedophilia.

Sure enough, that’s exactly why the celebrity just announced a hiatus. One of Twitter’s earliest celebrity adopters, Kutcher is laying low after a poorly planned tweet in defense of Penn State former coach Joe Paterno.

In a since deleted tweet, Kutcher expressed his displeasure about Paterno’s dismissal.

“How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste,” the tweet said.

Apparently, Kutcher had spoken before he read the whole story. He left two more in short order:

“Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet!”

“Didn’t have full story. #admitwhenYoumakemistakes.”

Clearly flustered, the celebrity deleted these tweets, too. Finally, he concocted an apology he was satisfied with, and which is still up on his page:

“As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case,” he tweeted.

But even though this tweet was retweeted more than 800 times, it wasn’t enough to quell Twitter’s wrath. Hundreds weighed in on Kutcher’s apparent ignorance.

“Brett Ratner hates homosexuals... Ashton Kutcher supports pedophilia... It's like you're not allowed to have heroes anymore, you know?” tweeted @ScottAukerman.

“Ashton Kutcher tweeted defending Joe Paterno without knowing ANYTHING about the sex scandal at Penn State. Hey moron, read a paper sometime.” tweeted @KatzMoney.

Within the hour, Kutcher announced he would quit Twitter temporarily. In a tweet, of course:

“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,” he tweeted.

The lesson of the day is to think before you tweet. Others have learned this the hard way. And it’s certainly one Kutcher won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Photo by jdlasica