ESPN has retracted an unpopular tweet highlighting its Sportscenter show with a meme from the popular Euphoria TV show. The popular show has made waves with teens and young adults, and it has also generated controversy for its focus on drug consumption, violence, and premarital sex.
Details of the Tweet Gone Wrong
The Twitter account for ESPN’s SportsCenter deleted the cringe-worthy tweet earlier this week in response to negative feedback from its followers. The tweet featured an image of a teenage character on the show dubbed “Ashtray”, who indulged in violence and drugs throughout the series. Below the character’s image were the following words: “Name an athlete as fearless as this guy.”
Ashtray is an especially divisive character as he murdered a competing drug dealer on the hit TV drama series, then engaged in a violent standoff with authorities in which he shot a police officer. Actor Javon Walton plays the destructive character.
ESPN Makes a Statement
When media outlets reached out to ESPN to explain the retracted tweet, a spokesperson stated the content posted to its account does not align with the company’s brand, so it was removed. The deletion of the tweet wouldn’t have occurred if there weren’t a loud public outcry in response to the controversial image and caption. However, as is often said, every form of publicity is good publicity, meaning the divisive tweet shifted ESPN’s Sportscenter program and the Euphoria series into the news spotlight, heightening the awareness of each.
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Criticism of the tweet in question is arguably warranted, as much of ESPN’s target demographic primarily consists of kids, tweens, teens, and young adults. They are impressionable, meaning the worldwide network steering them to a controversial TV show that promotes drug use and violence is both immoral and irresponsible.