Ashton Kutcher has stepped down from Thorn, the company the actor founded alongside ex-wife Demi Moore that seeks to fight human 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 have been in hot water lately regarding their refusal to condemn their longtime friend and “That 70’s Show” co-star Danny Masterson.
Masterson was found guilty on 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 ongoing criticism they have received for their unwavering 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 moved to start the organization after seeing a documentary about child sex trafficking.
While the documentary focused on the issue’s prominent presence in Cambodia, the duo were struck by how prevalent 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 detailed the company’s mission to halt the decisive influence of technology on the issue.
Kutcher And Kunis Have Left The Company
Kutcher wrote a resignation letter to the company’s board, per Time.
The letter 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 experience. After my wife and I spent several days of listening, personal reflection, learning, and personal conversation 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,” Kutcher continued.
“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,” the “Dude, Where’s My Car” actor went on. “And to the broader advocacy community, I am deeply sorry. I remain proud of what we accomplished in the past decade and will continue to support Thorn’s work. Thank you for your tireless advocacy and dedication to this cause,” Kutcher’s letter concluded.
Kunis has not commented on the couple’s resignation as of press time.
“Never Been Kissed” actress Niesha Trout slammed news of Kutcher’s resignation.
Wow. But still not a single, solitary apology to Chrissie, Jen, and myself. Ashton and Mila, you are breathtakingly fraudulent beings. Keep learning I guess. pic.twitter.com/oXYgyMxchb
— Niesha Trout (@nieshatrout) September 15, 2023
Posting a screenshot of a post from journalist Yashar Ali, Trout wrote, “Wow. But still not a single, solitary apology to Chrissie, Jen, and myself. Ashton and Mila, you are breathtakingly fraudulent beings. 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.
After thanking those behind the organization in her post, Trout wrote, “I am so immensely proud of all the brave victims in our case – those who testified and those who were not heard. This was a united effort, and though utterly terrifying and hard -we all did it…”
In Kutcher’s character letter, he referred to Masterson as a “role model” and said the actor “set an extraordinary standard” for how one should strive to treat others. He also highlighted Masterson’s reported “genuine concern for those around him,” per court documents that The Blast exclusively obtained.