After he was accused of buying followers on social media, Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Richard Roeper is back on the job after a brief suspension, the company announced Friday.
Roeper, named in a New York Times piece as a prominent media member who had purchased followers on Twitter, acknowledged in a statement that he purchased about 50,000 followers to help “build his brand.”
“Your trust is something I have worked hard to earn over the course of my career,” Roeper said in a statement published by the paper. “Moving forward, I will do everything I can to keep that trust.”
According to Chicago media reporter Robert Feder, Roeper will write movie reviews and entertainment stories, but will not write general news columns for the company. He will also start a new Twitter account and will delete his old account as part of the agreement reached by the two parties.
“Roeper is genuinely contrite – aware, now, that these purchases were improper,” the Sun-Times said in a statement. “Roeper cooperated fully with the Sun-Times, including providing receipts and other relevant documents.”
According to reports, Roeper purchased the followers from a company called Devumi, which the New York Times reported as having participated in “a kind of large-scale social identify theft.”
The Sun-Times says that Roeper is reinstated effective immediately.