Twitter Fail Whale

Alec Baldwin has plenty of prestigious titles in Hollywood (Emmy winner, Oscar nominee, the good Baldwin brother), but he added two more (arguably less prestigious) bragging rights to his resume this week: Celebrity booted from a plane and a Twitter quitter.

One day after Baldwin was kicked off of an American Airlines flights after refusing to stop playing his Words with Friends game and went on a Twitter rampage about the incident (one tweet read, “Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt”), the 30 Rock star deactivated his account from the social networking site in light of the controversy. (American Airlines has since released a statement regarding Baldwin’s ejection from his flight in which they claim that the actor ignored FAA regulations that ” all cell phones and electronic devices must be turned off for taxi-out and take-off” and then took his phone into the lavatory and began calling the crew inappropriate names.) In response to the story, Baldwin’s publicist tweeted on Wednesday, “hey @AMERICAN_AA: How come ok 4 other 1st class passengers 2 tweet while @alecbaldwin asked to leave while using his device? #hypocrisy.”

Baldwin himself gave fair warning about his Twitter departure. But he also said he’d come back to the site, telling his 600,000-plus followers on Tuesday night, “Let’s play a game called Mass Unfollowing. I want to crash this acct and start again. But, tonight at 10 PM NY time, unfollow me.” But, until that possible date, that means no more Occupy Wall Street update visits, no more Q&As, and definitely no more Words with Friends challenges. Then again, as is so often the case with stars who have quit Twitter, temporary often becomes permanent. Just ask John Mayer, James Franco, or Sinéad O’Connor. (Well, so long as you don’t ask them on Twitter, anyway.)

While some celebrities have come back around to share their every thought in 140 characters or less (it’s Miley!), here’s the rundown of some famous Twitter quitters:

  • The aforementioned John Mayer shut down shop to “return to the studio,” but really, the uncensored singer-songwriter started to get a lot of flack for speaking publicly about his exes, namely Jessica Simpson. (Who, for the record, is still on Twitter.)
  • James Franco only spent just a few weeks on Twitter, posting videos and pictures in anticipation of his Oscar-hosting gig, but a tweet war of words with Bruce Vilanch may have been what prompted the star to call it quits back in April.
  • Twitter mainstay Ashton Kutcher handed over his account to his management team after a major gaffe in which he condemned the firing of Penn State coach Joe Paterno, before knowing the reasoning behind the decision. Kutcher, who had made a controversial Twitter faux pas before (the actor posted about the return of Sunday Night Football, which fell out on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, “This without a doubt the greatest day of the year! Hello football my old friend. Let’s us mingle for the next 5 months. TY #NFL TY #Jesus”), relinquished control of the page, days after the Paterno controversy and the announcement of his divorce from Demi Moore.
  • Sons of Anarchy showrunner Kurt Sutter deleted his Twitter account after he sent out a series of tweets about his anger over Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont being fired by AMC, which he attributed to Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men deal. Sutter explained why he quit Twitter on his blog, telling fans, “The whole Twitter phenomenon is really indicative of what’s happening in this country. And I say this in condemnation of myself as much as anyone else — we are growing into a nation that has no time, desire or capacity for truth. All we can handle is 140 characters of knowledge.”
  • Amanda Bynes threatened to quit both Twitter and acting. While the actress (thankfully) came back around to the social networking site, her return to acting still remains to be seen.

Which stars who have quit Twitter would you like to see return, PopWatchers? Who do you wish had stayed off for good? Share in the comments section below!

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