Find me one web geek that doesn’t love Woody Harrelson- well, up until yesterday, that might have been harder to do.
The star of Zombieland and unabashed, non-aging stoner actor is usually held up as a generally cool guy, even when he’s not super-busy careerwise, he manages to keep a pretty consistent profile of “oh hey, that Woody Harrelson can totally hang.” But after venturing into the waters of Reddit for an all too brief and ill-fated AMA (Ask Me Anything), the actor’s internet cool level has undoubtedly dropped a few points.
If you’re among the uninitiated, Reddit’s AMAs are a place where anyone- famous or not- can share a notable detail about themselves with the community and invite users to literally ask them anything. And Reddit is based largely on merit- good or bad, the community will use orange arrows to move you up in popularity or downvote your contribution into submission based solely on whether it adds to the community. (A lesson Woody Harrelson learned the hard way.)
Celebrities have used the merit-based economy to great effect- Louis CK can doubtlessly credit some of the massive sales of his recent indie comedy release to a Reddit AMA, and during notable PR scandals (like the recent Avenger game controller saga) companies can harness Reddit power to earn the trust of the community and repair its image. (Which Harrelson could still do, but it doesn’t seem likely.)
It seems that Harrelson managed to provoke the community with an incomplete understanding of the Ask Me Anything format. While fans literally began to ask him anything- including about an alleged prom-night sexual encounter with a fan- Harrelson wanted to use the site to promote his new film, Rampart. Big mistake. As one Redditor joked, the community predictably rejected this strategy and now it seems a bit of a vendetta is brewing after Harrelson’s misstep:
Agent- “Hey, there is this website called Readdit where we can pitch Woody’s new movie! Every person on it is in our target demographic!!!”
Publicist – “Sweet, let’s go piss them off!”
EPIC HIGH FIVE!