On Wednesday, Eva Longoria, a co-chair of the Obama campaign, retweeted a follower’s tweet about Mitt Romney. The tweet called Romney voters stupid, and Romney a “racist/mysoginistic twat.” Critics immediately began to attack Longoria, calling it a classless thing for someone associated with the Obama campaign to endorse. Longoria quickly deleted the tweet, and spent many hours filling her Twitter feed with apologies.
But who wrote that tweet in the first place? An 18-year-old Florida voter named Yuri. In an email to BuzzFeed, she wrote that she found Longoria’s behavior “shady and annoying.”
@evalongoria I have no idea why any woman/minority can vote for Romney. You have to be stupid to vote for such a racist/misogynistic twat— Ð®Ñ€Ð¸Ð¹ ÐŸÐ»ÐµÑÐºÑƒÐ½
First, a quick taste of Longoria’s apology and explanation:
And for the record I have never personally called any conservative women stupid. I think u are all beautiful and stronâ€¦ http://t.co/yyPSJ5lJ— Eva Longoria
I retweet many people I don’t agree with for the purpose of discussion and dialogue, thatâ€™s democracy…and boy did this create dialogue!— Eva Longoria
Yep RT @Joey28463694: @EvaLongoria I don’t care what anyone says you didn’t write that Eva people just like annoying you and twisting things— Eva Longoria
Let’s close this conversation with a focus on the real issues, not tweets. For women, it’s about equal pay, the economâ€¦ http://t.co/RYRzGfzm— Eva Longoria
Though Longoria deleted the retweet, many of her 4.5 million followers had already seen it — and subsequently started attacking Yuri, who herself has just 272 followers. “I may have called everyone voting for Romney stupid but they called me worse things,” she wrote. “Most of them are older too so it’s kind of pathetic to rage on a teenager for her opinions. I strongly believe in what I said and I don’t regret tweeting it.”
Yuri, who didn’t want to use her last name, was born in Ecuador and will be voting (for President Obama) for the first time this election, in the swing state of Florida. When she saw Longoria, who she follows, in her timeline, she thought she would reply. “I never thought she was going to RT me,” she wrote. “If I would’ve known, I would’ve changed my picture and written it in a nicer way.”
Yuri was also upset that Longoria deleted the tweet and tried to distance herself from it. “I think it’s shady and annoying,” she added. “She got me into this mess in the first place so backtracking and claiming she was hacked was a really shady move. I get that she didn’t like the replies she was getting but she could’ve at least told them to back off my replies.”
On Thursday, Longoria tweeted that a bug or hack was causing her account to retweet other tweets, but later clarified that “my twitter was acting up THIS morning only.” Whether or not she was denying having retweeted Yuri, she was clearly distancing herself from the matter.
A spokesperson for Longoria said the actress’ sentiments could be summed up in her recent tweets and apologies. He also pointed to a tweet from liberal radio host and Fox News contributor Alan Colmes:
The right wing should stop using me to beat up on @EvaLongoria. She apologized for her RT. Let’s move on.— Alan Colmes
Like nearly all Twitter mini-controversies, this one will probably blow over in a day or so. It is, however, an interesting lesson about Twitter. Celebrities and other users with massive followings are usually the ones who can stir up a scandal, but anyone — no matter how few followers you have — can get caught up in one.