Oh, the power of a single tweet.
Actor Rob Lowe got a taste of his host city's wrath Tuesday after posting a disgruntled tweet about an interrupted NBA broadcast: "The local affiliate is interrupting the 4th quarter of the #NBAFinals to show city council election results!!! #TrappedInAHellHole."
Lowe might not have singled out Winnipeg by name, but the hellhole hashtag nevertheless got the city's hackles up. The actor has been here shooting Imperfect Justice (the Casey Anthony story).
Twitter followers were quick to ID the incriminating 'local affiliate' as Grand Forks-based, and a flood of snarky rebuttals followed. Some mused on whether Lowe was referring to the city or or a particular bar -- and others wondered what all the fuss was about.
The actor, however, did not intend to refer to Winnipeg as a hellhole, said Kenny Boyce, the City of Winnipeg’s film liaison.
Lowe, a huge sports fan, was frustrated that the bar he was in had TVs tuned to Grand Forks station WDAZ, which interrupted the NBA playoff game to show results from a North Dakota election, Boyce said.
"We won’t say what the bar was, but it wasn’t great to start with. It got worse when they changed the channel," Boyce said. "That was the hellhole."
The actor made nice with a follow-up this morning. "Thanks. Will find a better sports bar," he responded to a follower who suggested TSN as a better bet.
Manitoba’s Premier chimed in Wednesday with his own take on actor Rob Lowe’s hellhole tweet.
Good thing the actor made nice, Greg Selinger said in a playful response to the errant tweet hashtagged as #TrappedInAHellHole.
"We’re not," the premier protested Wednesday after an announcement about health care at a North End press conference.
"This is the greatest place to live," the premier said.
Noting that the Lowe "corrected himself," the premier suggested the actor got the message it’s not nice to bite the hand that feeds you, even in a fit of pique.
"I’m very happy he’s here because by coming here he’s able to make a living," Selinger said. "We’ll leave it at that," he smiled.
Rob Lowe has shot in Winnipeg before and was excited to return, Boyce said. During this stint in town, the actor-producer has enjoyed himself at the Rogers Waters concert at MTS Centre, Pride Winnipeg celebrations and restaurants such as Pizzeria Gusto, Earls and Kristina’s On Corydon, Boyce added.
"He’s filming here for a couple of weeks and he thinks Winnipeg is a great city," Boyce said. "He’s a good guy and he’s brought millions of dollars of business to Canada."