After Mila Kunis accepted the YouTube invitation from Sergeant Scott Moore to attend the Marine Ball with him, it's now looking like she can't go after all. Should she have checked her schedule more thoroughly before making the commitment, and has she made herself look bad?
Sergeant Moore invited Kunis to the ball via a YouTube message, and her "Friends With Benefits" costar Justin Timberlake encouraged her to attend. She agreed to do so, and the press gushed all over her for it.
Now there are reports that she's going to have to back out, because she has two movies to shoot in November. Now, of course, the press is changing its tune: a Wall Street Journal article talks about how "articles about a disappointed Marine with a broken heart," are beginning to surface. The WSJ article, authored by ex-Marine John Netto, points out that this all "encapsulates...the double-edge sword of web-driven public relations."
Netto is right. Because news moves so fast in the world of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, reactions also move as fast. Praise for Kunis's patriotic decision can so quickly turn into vilification for her need to back out of the Marine Corps Ball.
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Netto also takes a very fair view of Kunis' reported cancellation (her reps have not yet issued a statement on whether she's actually backed out): "If the accounts I hear are accurate, then I can say I am disappointed in Mila’s hasty acceptance without checking her schedule.
However, her prompt attempt to clear the air is well within protocol of accepting a date and then responsibly backing out (it’s only July and the event is scheduled to happen in November). I think we have all overcommitted at times and the best thing you can do is accept your mistake and look to amend it as quickly as possible... My prediction is... Kunis will probably do something that allows her and the Sergeant to celebrate the event and mend some of the public relations damage done as a result."
Personally, I think there's no need to hang Kunis for a decision she's not yet even officially made: she is known to have talked with her publicist before she made the decision to go to the Ball, and surely there's a way this can be worked out, if it is indeed true that her schedule conflicts with the event.
Movie shooting schedules can be rearranged, and often are, to allow stars to attend events that will garner publicity - it's good press for the movie as well as the star. Yes, the Ball is going to be celebrated on a Thursday this year - the date is always the 10th of November - but since the event is in the evening, it should be easier to rearrange shooting to "wrap out" Kunis early enough for her to attend.
In any case, the press - and everyone else - needs to wait for the official word before jumping on Kunis.