Look, celebrities: I know Twitter is a quick and easy way to reach a large audience with your thoughts about hot-button debates and/or the sandwich you just ate, but it will never be a good way to do so. This is much the same way I feel about sexting: a text will never be that sexy, and a tweet will never be able to contain the nuance or detail required for something you write to come across as reasoned or well thought out. This is a lesson Russell Crowe is learning today, after he tweeted his thoughts about circumcision — he is against it — and, unfortunately for him, capped them off by saying he has "many Jewish friends."
Those tweets are down now, after people expressed outrage on Twitter, but here is the text of the two relevant messages thanks to Movieline:
10:06 p.m.: Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect
10:46 p.m.: many jewish friends, I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies @eliroth
First of all, if you think you'll get away with saying a variation on the "a have friends who are ______," and then saying Jewish people wear "funny little hats," you are just wrong. Roth has since come to Crowe's defense, saying the tweet was a joke between the actor and director, but the truth is that Twitter is public. Learn it. Love it.
Clearly Crowe knew that this was a tricky issue to talk about for a lot of reasons, and circumcision's importance to Judaism is one of the more obvious ones. And perhaps if Crowe had a bit more space to voice his thoughts, he wouldn't be in this situation. The most recent tweets from Crowe's account are all apologetic, and he seems very contrite. (Though he also calls Twitter a "great forum for discussion," which is untrue.) But the point is, all possibility of rational discourse was lost the moment he took to a medium that limits you to 140 characters.
The lesson for celebrities in all of this: just write an essay for the Huffington Post instead. People will still yell at you, but at least you'll actually be able to write out "your."