Ashton Kutcher Resigns From Anti-Human Trafficking Organization Thorn Following Controversial Character Reference
In a surprising move, actor and activist Ashton Kutcher has stepped down from his role as board chair at Thorn, the anti-human trafficking organization he co-founded. The announcement came via a heartfelt letter published on the organization’s website and revealed that Kutcher’s decision was influenced by recent controversies surrounding his character reference for fellow actor Danny Masterson, who was convicted of rape.
Kutcher, best known for his roles in “That ’70s Show” and “The Ranch,” and his wife, Mila Kunis, had penned character letters supporting Masterson during his trial. However, in light of growing concerns and after engaging in dialogues with survivors, Thorn employees, and leadership, Kutcher made the difficult decision to resign.
In his letter, Kutcher expressed remorse, acknowledging the historical silencing of sexual abuse victims. He stated, “Victims of sexual abuse have been historically silenced, and the character statement I submitted is yet another painful instance of questioning victims who are brave enough to share their experiences.” He emphasized that his error in judgment should not detract from Thorn’s crucial mission to support sexually exploited individuals worldwide.
Kutcher also offered a heartfelt apology to all victims of sexual violence and the Thorn community, recognizing the hurt caused by his actions. Despite stepping down as board chair, he remains committed to supporting Thorn’s work and expressed gratitude for the tireless advocacy of the organization.
Time magazine reported that Mila Kunis, Kutcher’s wife and Thorn board observer, has also stepped down from her position, although no official statement has been released regarding her departure.
Suzanne Bell, a Thorn board member, expressed support for Kutcher and his contributions to the organization, commending his unwavering dedication. She noted that Kutcher’s commitment had been instrumental in establishing Thorn as a leader in child safety advocacy.
This announcement follows the recent controversy surrounding Kutcher and Kunis, who issued a joint video apology on Instagram for their character references on behalf of Danny Masterson. Masterson was found guilty of two counts of rape and faces a minimum of 30 years in prison. In their video statement, both Kutcher and Kunis expressed their awareness of the pain caused by their character letters and affirmed their continued support for victims and advocacy against sexual abuse.