Kenneth Cole Apologizes Again Internet Still Hates Him

first_imgYou get the point, right? It’s a humor-based display of disgust that rapidly turned into a meme-based pileup.Cole, for his part, opted to pull the tweet today, but the damage has already been done. Let’s face it, everyone has seen the tweet by now. And for those few people in isolated parts of the globe who have yet to see it, it’s been preserved a million times over, and will last until the Internet stops working.He also apparently decided that 140 characters wasn’t going to cut it, apology-wise, so, naturally, he took to Facebook to help smooth things over writing,I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate. Internet anger surely broke some speed yesterday after designer Kenneth Cole’s unfortunate attempt at humor [above] apparently stopped all of Twitter dead in its tracks. Nearly everyone with an “@” in front of their names took to the microblogging service to condemn Cole’s words, and they were, in fact, Cole’s words.Cole quickly apologized in his next tweet, stating, “Re Egypt tweet: we weren’t intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment.” In the wake of the apology, Cole opted to keep the much re-tweeted post up–a historical document of sorts. AdChoices广告The spoofs, too, came at record speeds, with a number of fake Kenneth Cole accounts launched. @kennethcolepr sported the tagline “A disaster near you,” rose quickly to the top, becoming the default source of dark potshots at the fashion icon. And with it came the hashtag #KennethColeTweets.A quick click on the aforementioned tag brings up a truly dark insight into Twitter’s sense of vengeance humor. It would take all day to weed through all of them, so here are a few “Top Tweets,” according to Twitter’s numbers,Andy Levy of Hiroshima loafers is the bomb! – @andylevyChase down Anderson Cooper in style with our new lightweight canvas loafers. – @AaronLutherGoing to a cross burning? You’ll hate cutting eye holes in our 600 thread count cotton sheets. – @JonahNRO Cole didn’t fare much better over there. Response number one: “You are an a**! No excuses.” And it kind of goes downhill from there.So, is this the sort of thing a company can recover from? Sure. In 2011, outrage is defined by speed, not stamina. Heck, people went back to filling up their tanks with BP again after that company caused a much larger disaster than an admittedly stupid and ill-timed joke.I won’t apologize for Cole, of course. Dark comedy is a tricky thing–one best left to the professionals. Now everyone with an outlet thinks he’s Louis CK–the sad fact is, however, Louis CK is funny, and you’re probably not. Comedy can help bring us together in the face of disaster–as Cole has clearly learned first hand–,however, sometimes coming together means finding a common enemy. The question, then, is how soon is too soon? The period for holding one’s tongue is certainly far shorter than it was, say, a decade ago. The rule of thumb at the moment, I think, is: don’t joke about a disaster when it’s happening. The real rule is probably something more along the lines of: a joke is “too soon” when a lot of people say it’s too soon.Bottom line is Kenneth Cole blew it, and nobody knows that better than Cole himself. It surely takes a lot of rage in order to get back to the COO of a international organization that quickly, and when it comes to compiling anger, nothing we’ve seen yet can match Twitter’s speed. As for maintaining it, well, you’re probably going to want to look elsewhere.last_img read more