Bill Cosby's idea to use Twitter to promote his website backfired spectacularly on Monday.
Cosby recently unveiled something called the Bill Cosby meme generator, because everyone has been clamoring for such a thing, I guess. To promote something that's so exclusive and exciting it pretty much does exactly what tons of other photo meme sites do, Cosby tweeted an invitation to fans.
OK, so what could possibly go wrong? People will make a few Cosby Show jokes and call it a night, yes? Wrong. This is Twitter where people don't have to dodge the real issues like squirrely entertainment news reporters living in fear of a publicist's ire. On Twitter and in other forums where people don't have memories that are five seconds long, people had no problem reminding Cosby that there is nothing funny or "memeable" about someone who has been accused of rape by multiple women. Even other comedians like Hannibal Buress don't find it funny that Cosby is trying to make the world forget about the allegations, and using ridiculous PR stunts on social media to bolster his public image isn't doing him any favors.
Nevertheless, Twitter responded and they did as he asked, using the #CosbyMeme tag he had so thoughtfully provided. They meme'd Cosby. But probably not in the way anyone in his camp was imagining:
Unfortunately some of the hashtag devolved into an excuse to make some spectacularly gross and unfunny rape jokes. It is Twitter after all.
Could this maybe be the worst, stupidest PR move since R Kelly's ill-fated Q&A? Probably. It's hard to believe anyone who has actually used the Internet in the past five years would ever think this is a good idea, much less people who are presumably paid vast sums of money to prevent these types of debacles.
Despite the backlash on Twitter, it didn't seem to stop anyone in Cosby's publicity machine from moving forward with the Cosby Meme celebration party like nothing happened. Must be great to live in a bubble.
ETA: Looks like Cosby's original request on Twitter was finally deleted.
Image via Getty.