Ashton Kutcher Steps Down from Anti-Child Abuse Organization Following Controversial Support for Danny Masterson
In a recent turn of events, Ashton Kutcher has resigned from his position at his anti-child sexual abuse organization. This decision follows his controversial support for Danny Masterson, which he now acknowledges as an "error in judgment."
Kutcher and his wife, Mila Kunis, had previously penned letters of support for Masterson. Addressing this, Kutcher 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." This sentiment was expressed in his official resignation letter, which has been acquired by various news agencies.
He further elaborated on his decision, saying, "After my wife and I spent several days of listening, personal reflection, learning, and conversations with survivors and the employees and leadership at Thorn, I have determined the responsible thing for me to do is resign as Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve."
Masterson, a known Scientologist, has been sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison. Kutcher continued to express his remorse, stating, "The mission must always be the priority, and I want to offer my heartfelt apology to all victims of sexual violence and everyone at Thorn who I hurt by what I did. And to the broader advocacy community, I am deeply sorry. I remain proud of what we have accomplished in the past decade and will continue to support Thorn’s work. Thank you for your tireless advocacy and dedication to this cause." Kunis, who had a role as an observer on the board, has not made any further statements.
The trio, Masterson, Kutcher, and Kunis, first became acquainted on the set of 'That '70s Show' in the late 1990s. Following accusations against Masterson by multiple women who claimed he raped them in the early 2000s, both Kutcher and Kunis wrote letters in his support. Kutcher praised Masterson as an "honest role model" and a commendable father, while Kunis described him as a "brother figure."
Once these letters became public, the couple faced significant backlash, prompting them to release an apology video. In the video, they explained, "Danny's family reached out to us and they asked us to write character letters to represent the person that we knew for 25 years, so that the judge could take that into full consideration relative to the sentencing." They emphasized their support for victims and clarified that their letters were not intended to undermine the testimony of the victims or retraumatize them in any way.
The resignation letter from Kutcher was later obtained by TIME, further solidifying his decision to step down from the organization.