Ashton Kutcher has stepped down from Thorn, the company that the actor founded together with ex-wife Demi Moore and which aims to combat human trafficking and specifically child trafficking.
Kutcher’s wife Mila Kunis, has also left the company. The ‘Friends With Benefits’ actress observed on Thorn’s board.
The couple has been in hot water lately over their refusal to condemn their longtime friend and “That 70’s Show” co-star Danny Masterson.
Masterson was found guilty of two counts of forcible rape earlier this month and was sentenced to three decades in prison. The couple both wrote character letters on his behalf.
The couple’s departure from Thorn comes nearly a week after the actors released a video on social media amid the continued criticism they have received for their continued support of Masterson.
What is ‘Thorn?’
Kutcher and Moore founded the organization before the couple split a decade ago.
According to the organization’s website, the duo was prompted to start the organization after watching a documentary about child sex trafficking.
While the documentary focused on the issue’s prominence in Cambodia, the duo was struck by how widespread the problem is in the United States.
Kutcher discussed his position as chairman of Thorn in his 2017 testimony before Congress on human trafficking. In his testimony, he described the company’s mission to end the decisive influence of technology on this issue.
Kutcher and Kunis have left the company
Kutcher wrote a resignation letter to the company’s board, per Time.
The letter said: “Victims of sexual abuse have historically been silenced, and the character statement I have submitted is yet another painful example of questioning victims who are brave enough to share their experiences. After my wife and I spent several days of listening, personal reflection, learning and personal conversations with the survivors, staff and leadership of Thorn, I have decided that it is my responsibility to step down as Chairman of the Board of Directors. ”
“I cannot allow my lapse in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve,” Kutcher continued.
“The mission must always be the priority, and I want to sincerely apologize to all victims of sexual assault, and to everyone at Thorn who I hurt by what I did,” the “Dude, Where’s My Car” actor continued . “And for the broader interest community, I think it’s very unfortunate. I remain proud of what we have achieved over the past ten years and will continue to support Thorn’s work. Thank you for your tireless advocacy and dedication to this cause,” Kutcher’s letter concludes.
Kunis has not commented on the couple’s resignation at the time of writing.
“Never Been Kissed” actress Niesha Trout denounced the news of Kutcher’s resignation.
Wow. But still no single, solitary apology to Chrissie, Jen and myself. Ashton and Mila, you are breathtakingly fraudulent creatures. I guess keep learning. pic.twitter.com/oXYgyMxchb
— Niesha Trout (@nieshatrout) September 15, 2023
Trout posted a screenshot of a message from journalist Yashar Ali and wrote: “Wow. But still no single, solitary apology to Chrissie, Jen and myself. Ashton and Mila, you are breathtakingly fraudulent creatures. Keep learning, I guess.”
The actress added: “or an apology to ALL of Danny’s victims. How about that? There are many. And they all matter,” to her thread.
Trout posted a screenshot on Instagram from the Voices In Action account, with an image created in support of Masterson’s reported victims.
After thanking the people behind the organization in her post, Trout wrote: “I am so very proud of all the courageous victims in our case – those who testified and those who were not heard. This was a joint effort, and although extremely scary and difficult, we all did it…’
In Kutcher’s character letter, he called Masterson a “role model” and said the actor “set an extraordinary standard” for how one should strive to treat others. He also emphasized Masterson’s reported “genuine concern for those around him,” according to court documents exclusively obtained by The Blast.