Ashton Kutcher resigns from child sexual abuse committee following backlash – National

Ashton Kutcher is stepping down as chairman of the board of a child sexual abuse organization he co-founded, called Thorn, as he continues to deal with fallout and outrage of his support for the rapist Danny Masterson.

TIME magazine reports that his wife, Mila Kunis, is also leaving her role as an observer on Thorn’s board of directors.

“Victims of sexual abuse have historically been silenced and the morality statement I submitted is another painful example of questioning victims brave enough to share their experiences,” Kutcher wrote in a letter dated Thursday addressed to the Thorn Board of Directors, which was shared on the Thorn website. as well as with TIME.

“After my wife and I spent several days of listening, personal reflection, learning, and conversations with Thorn survivors, employees, and leaders, I determined that the responsible thing I needed to do was to resign from my position as Chairman of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Kutcher wrote. “I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve.”

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Kutcher and Kunis made headlines late last week when it was revealed they had written letters of support to Masterson, asking the presiding judge to show leniency during sentencing of Masterson, who was convicted of two counts of rape.

The co-stars, now married, were once the main characters in This show from the 70s alongside Masterson. Their letters attested to Masterson’s “exceptional character.”

Topher Grace, Danny Masterson, Mila Kunis, Laura Prepon, Wilmer Valderrama and Ashton Kutcher from “That 70’s Show.”

Getty Images

“I do not believe he represents a permanent harm to society,” Kutcher wrote, while Kunis described Masterson as “an exceptional role model and friend.”

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Outrage over the letters ensued, prompting the couple to share a video on Instagram on Sunday in which Kutcher explained that Masterson’s family had asked them to write character letters detailing “the person we’ve known for 25 years so that the judge can take this into consideration. at sentencing.”

Click to play video: “Danny Masterson controversy: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis issue public apology after letters to judge released”

Danny Masterson controversy: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis issue public apologies after letters to judge published

“The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the justice system or the validity of the jury’s decision,” Kunis said.

The couple were just two of 50 people who reportedly wrote letters of support to Judge Charlaine Olmeda.

However, the letters did not appear to do much to sway the judge’s mind, and Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.

And while Kunis and Kutcher have both been the subject of much scorn and vitriol – including very public attacks from several other celebrities – Kutcher is facing increased scrutiny for his advocacy in the field of combating child sex trafficking.

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“The mission must always come first and I want to sincerely apologize to all victims of sexual violence and to everyone at Thorn who I have hurt by what I have done,” Kutcher wrote to the board of directors. administration of Thorn. “And to the broader defense community, I am deeply sorry. I remain proud of what we have accomplished over the past decade and will continue to support Thorn’s work. Thank you for your tireless advocacy and dedication to this cause.

Thorn was founded in 2009 by Kutcher and his then-wife, Demi Moore, as the DNA Foundation. Thorn develops tools and technologies to help technology companies remove child pornography from online spaces, as well as to help law enforcement identify victims.

“Ashton founded Thorn over a decade ago with one goal in mind: to protect children from sexual abuse and give them the childhood they deserve,” said Thorn Board Member Suzanne Bell. , in a press release.

“His unwavering dedication and commitment to Thorn throughout his journey has allowed the organization to become the leader it is in the child safety ecosystem. It was a privilege for me to join him on this mission.

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If you or someone you know is a victim of violence or is involved in a violent situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Center for Victims of Crime for help. They can also be reached toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.

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