Ashton Kutcher Steps Down as Thorn Chairman Amid Backlash Over Letter Supporting Danny Masterson
Ashton Kutcher has resigned from his position as the board chairman of Thorn, the anti-sex-trafficking organization he co-founded with his ex-wife Demi Moore in 2009. The decision comes after Kutcher and his wife Mila Kunis faced backlash for writing letters to a judge, requesting leniency in the sentencing of Danny Masterson, a convicted rapist and their former “That ’70s Show” co-star.
- Thorn: Co-founded by Kutcher and Demi Moore, focused on combating child sex trafficking and abuse facilitated through the internet.
- Danny Masterson: Convicted of two counts of rape, sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.
- Public reaction: Outrage over the letters written by Kutcher and Kunis, leading to Kutcher’s resignation.
|Organization’s Response||Thorn acknowledged Kutcher’s contributions over the last 15 years, expressing gratitude for his role in the organization.|
|Mila Kunis||Also stepping down from her role as an observer on the Thorn board.|
|Public Apology||The couple apologized in an Instagram video, clarifying the intent behind their letters.|
The controversy arose when Kutcher and Kunis wrote letters vouching for Masterson’s character, despite his conviction on two counts of rape. In the letters, they did not argue Masterson’s innocence but highlighted their personal experiences with him. Kutcher mentioned that he did not see Masterson as an “ongoing harm to society” and expressed concern over Masterson’s daughter growing up without a father. This sparked outrage, with many accusing the couple of undermining the victims’ testimonies.
Following the backlash, Kutcher decided to step down from his role at Thorn, stating that he could not let his “error in judgment” distract from the organization’s mission to combat child sex trafficking and abuse. He acknowledged the pain caused to the survivors of sexual assault and expressed regret over questioning the victims who shared their experiences. Kutcher emphasized that the character statement he submitted was contrary to what they had worked to achieve over the past decade at Thorn.
|Thorn is a non-profit organization founded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore in 2009. It focuses on building technology to defend children from sexual abuse. The organization collaborates with various sectors to fight child sex trafficking on the internet. Learn more about Thorn on Wikipedia.|
Why did Ashton Kutcher resign from Thorn?
Ashton Kutcher resigned from Thorn following the backlash he and his wife Mila Kunis received for writing letters supporting Danny Masterson, a convicted rapist. Kutcher stated that he did not want his mistake to distract from Thorn’s mission to combat child sex trafficking and abuse.
What was the content of the letters Kutcher and Kunis wrote?
In the letters, Kutcher and Kunis vouched for Masterson’s character based on their personal experiences with him. They did not argue his innocence but expressed their views on his nature and the potential impact of his imprisonment on his daughter. The letters were criticized for potentially undermining the victims’ testimonies.
How did the couple respond to the criticism?
The couple responded by posting a video on Instagram where they clarified the intent behind their letters. They mentioned that the letters were meant for the judge’s perusal and not to undermine the victims’ testimonies or retraumatize them. They expressed regret if their action had caused any such effect.
Source: LA Times