In the past week, many people rejoiced as they’ve finally discovered an exception to the rule – “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”, as Robin Thicke attempted to connect with his fans on Twitter.
To promote his new album “Paula”, the soul-singer-cum-popstar Robin Thicke invited his fans to tag questions with the hashtag #AskThicke to inquire about the upcoming album and maybe even his personal life (as this entire album was inspired by his estranged wife) on a live Twitter Q&A session with Thicke himself.
And the questions came flooding in!
Not to miss this amazing opportunity of a life time, people from all corners of the Internet gathered to display what was known as either the most brutal celebrity bashing of all time, or the biggest Internet collaboration social media as ever seen!
Leading up from his ‘Blurred Lines’ song that caused many controversies about the song’s objectification of women as well as his misogynistic attitude, a tidal wave of Internet trolls took it upon themselves to take over the hashtag and work as one large, abusive unit to completely obliterate the unsuspecting Robin Thicke.
Here are just one of the few things people asked Thicke during this Twitter exchange:
#AskThicke How far across that blurred line do you have to be before it constitutes rape?
— Jeff Leach (@jeffleach) July 1, 2014
#AskThicke What’s it like being the human personification of a mid life crisis?
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) July 1, 2014
Train A leaves the station at 40mph and train B leaves at 55mph, how far is the judge going to order you to stay away from Paula #AskThicke
— Tristan (@AyoTristan) July 1, 2014
#AskThicke If you sang in a forest and nobody was there to hear it would you still sound like a creepy, rapey, pound-shop Justin Timberlake?
— Stay Lucky Clothing (@StayLuckyCo) July 1, 2014
How often should I delete my internet search history? You strike me as a good person to ask. #AskThicke
— Toby Whithouse (@hanniganspiteri) July 1, 2014
#AskThicke My wife said no to me. Do I a: hit her b: listen to her c: ignore her? I figured you’d know.
— Anninyn (@gingerkytten) July 1, 2014
Despite all of this, there is something we (we meaning us Malaysians) can learn from all of this. Besides the obvious, ‘don’t ask if don’t want to know’ message. It’s about staying calm. Throughout this entire fiasco, Robin Thicke kept his cool and not once lashed out, got defensive, deleted posts or engaged the haters. Instead, he simply replied:
— VH1 (@VH1) July 1, 2014
Thank you all for your time. I love you and hope the album brings you joy. #AskThicke
— VH1 (@VH1) July 1, 2014
Now compare this to Les Deux Garcons’ blowout from just one complaint about their service, or Paradigm Mall’s lashing from a comment about their lifts or even A Cut Above’s lack of social awareness when they vulgarly threatened their customer.
As much as #AskThicke was a PR disaster, it’s still more than we can say for a lot of short-tempered Malaysian brands that currently exist on social media today.
If one man can keep his chin up after being publically shammed for his career, marriage, personal life and overall existence, I’m sure we as brands can handle a negative comment or two.
As much as the lines between constructive feedback and snide remarks seem blurred, remember to always maintain your composure, listen without a reaction and to inherently take it all with a pinch of salt.
Does your brand take the high road in times of crisis?
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