As Samantha Bee and Roseanne Barr learned, with the combined speed of cellphones, social media and television, a controversy can explode into a scandal in record time.
Quiet often, the results are not what people expect – which can mean bad news, especially if you're a celebrity with a big platform.
"People are trying to say 'wow' things," Ken Auletta, media columnist at The New Yorker, told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview.
"In the desperation to attract an audience, be it with tweeting, or quick thoughts off the top of your head to draw a little attention, it just encourages this kind of behavior," he added.
Backlash was swift after Roseanne Barr sent a racist tweet about former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett. It led to the abrupt cancellation of her self-titled, top rated ABC sitcom.
Separately, Samantha Bee used a vulgar insult to describe Ivanka Trump last week. Yet her TBS show, "Full Frontal," was not cancelled.
Auletta explained that he saw differences in the two comediennes' controversies.
"Roseanne has a history of saying racist things and basically it wasn't a one-time runoff. But I think in the case of Roseanne, it was just a repetition of previous things she's done," he told CNBC. "Samantha Bee arguably was one time she did it. Both are wrong and both tried to apologize."
However, prior to Bee's apology on her show Wednesday night, advertisers State Farm and Autotrader announced they would no longer advertise on "Full Frontal."
Auletta added that "it's a given (advertisers) want their products advertised in a friendly environment." If brands place their products in "a controversial environment, it's a legitimate concern."