LOS ANGELES – Ashton Kutcher will temporarily take a break from Twitter after he expressed outrage over the firing of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in a tweet, without fully understanding the cause of Paterno's dismissal.
Kutcher pledged Thursday to abstain from tweeting until he can "properly manage this feed."
The 33-year-old sparked a frenzy among his more than eight million followers late Wednesday after he tweeted, "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste."
The actor was slammed by Twitter users, with one follower telling him "covering for a child molester: bad" and another adding Kutcher should "do some research next time."
The "Two and a Half Men" star swiftly realized his mistake and admitted mouthing off in ignorance of the ongoing child abuse scandal.
"This is an insane story, I just heard paterno was fired, getting the rest of the story now ... Wow," Kutcher added in a tweet, one in a series of Twitter messages he has since deleted.
"Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet!" he added. "Didn't have full story."
Realizing the gravity of his gaffe, Kutcher posted a frank apology and signed off from the microblogging website -- at least temporarily.
"As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case," he tweeted.
"As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed. I feel awful about this error. Won't happen again," he added.
Paterno, 84, was fired by the board of trustees Wednesday night for his handling of the allegations against his longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who was indicted over the weekend on charges of child sex abuse over a 15-year period.
In 2002, Paterno failed to alert the authorities to the claims of then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who said he saw Sandusky in the Penn State showers having sex with a young boy.