Ashton Kutcher digs Uber a new hole

Actor: "What's so wrong about digging up dirt on shady journalist?"

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Ashton Kutcher attends TechCrunch Disrupt New York May 2011 at Pier 94 on May 24, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images for AOL)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Ashton Kutcher attends TechCrunch Disrupt New York May 2011 at Pier 94 on May 24, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images for AOL)

Uber’s besieged leadership probably wishes Ashton Kutcher had just kept his mouth shut this morning.

Just as the app-driven car service was starting to dig out of its latest corporate crisis, the actor – and Uber investor – tweeted Wednesday in support of remarks made by one of its executives about theoretically investigating critical journalists.

The That ‘70s Show actor then defended his stance in a series of tweets posted Wednesday morning.

Kutcher’s remarks were criticized widely on Twitter on Wednesday.

In terms of media strategy, Kutcher extended the half-life of a crisis that started Monday night when BuzzFeed reported that Uber SVP Emil Michael had floated the idea of investigating journalists’ private lives, and those of their families, as retaliation for criticism.

The remarks occurred at a private dinner – held to improve Uber’s relationship with the media, of all things – that the company’s executives reportedly believed were off the record. BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, who reported the comments, has maintained that no Uber officials or the people who invited him communicated that the event was off the record.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick apologized in a 13-tweet series on Tuesday, but did not fire Michael.

Uber also reportedly began investigating its New York managing director for accessing the travel records of a BuzzFeed reporter without her consent.

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