The death of Amy Winehouse has prompted moving tributes and searching discussions on the nature of fame and addiction. As with most celebrity deaths, there's been the requisite amount of regrettable commentary, followed by instant, near-complete retractions. Here's what's already been deemed off-limits in the wake of Winehouse's death.
Telling people to buy her records
As our colleagues at The Atlantic point out, iTunes and Amazon Music both posted homepage links to pages where viewers could buy Winehouse's music quickly after her death, but there was something about this tweet from a Microsoft UK public relations account that seemed particularly tasteless.
Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back to Black’ over at Zune: http://t.co/rWQb0CK?culture=en-gb
After an hour of being called "PR jackals" and "vile leeches" on Twitter, writes CNET, Microsoft backtracked with a follow-up tweet, which is never a good thing when tensions are running high.
Apologies to everyone if our earlier Amy Winehouse ‘download’ tweet seemed purely commercially motivated. Far from the case, we assure you.
Comparing her to wasteful government spending
Missouri Rep. Bobby Long, a first term Republican, tweeted midday Monday, "No one could reach (hash) Amy Winehouse before it was too late. Can anyone reach Washington before it’s too late? Both addicted — same fate???" By Monday night, he was texting an apology to the Springfield News-Leader, his hometown paper. Somehow, it managed to double as a plug for limited government: "Although I do believe spending 42 percent more than we take in is an addiction," explained Long, "I certainly meant no disrespect to Amy, her family or her fans. She was one of the few true artists to come along in a long time. What happened to her was a senseless tragedy and drawing an analogy wasn't meant to minimize the loss of life. If anyone took offense, I sincerely apologize."
Seeing people who look like her
Singer Keri Hilson initially defended her decision last night to tweet a picture she took with an unnamed woman as "Amy Winehouse resurrected to party with me!!!" (photo) and call it "simply the best tribute ever." Others apparently disagreed, and Hilson soon posted the only thing less desirable than a followup apology tweet: a late-night, two-part followup apology tweet.
Bedtime. I apologize 2 anyone who might've taken it the wrong way. As a fan, I thought it was cool that she dressed up to honor Amy.. (ctnd)
(ctnd) I had no ill intent, but I understand how it appears insensitive...my bad twitterville. For real. Good night :)
Anonymous Internet spammers
They won't be apologizing, but as Softpedia notes, the Winehouse death has been dutifully exploited by online mischief makers, who have posted links to non-existent footage of Winehouse using drugs moments before her death. What happens when you click on them is about what you'd expect--the message gets reposted from your account and you're entered in countless surveys.