HOLLYWOOD — In a surprising turn of events, Hollywood power couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have announced their resignation from Thorn, the anti-child-trafficking organization co-founded by Kutcher and his ex-wife, Demi Moore, in 2009.
The decision comes in the wake of a recent controversy surrounding Kutcher’s choice to pen a character letter in support of his “That ’70s Show” co-star and long-time friend, Danny Masterson. Masterson was recently convicted and sentenced on two counts of rape. Kutcher’s letter, which called for leniency for Masterson, has drawn significant criticism from the public and advocacy groups.
In his resignation letter, Kutcher directly linked his departure from Thorn to the Masterson controversy. 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.”
Mila Kunis, Kutcher’s wife and fellow actor, has also stepped down from her role as an observer on Thorn’s board. This decision follows her own involvement in the controversy, as she too had written a letter in support of Masterson.
Thorn, primarily focused on leveraging technology to combat child sex trafficking, has been at the forefront of this fight for over a decade. The organization has developed tools that enable tech companies to detect, review, and report child sexual abuse material at scale.
The couple’s association with Masterson and their subsequent letters of support have been met with heavy criticism. In response to the backlash, both Kutcher and Kunis issued an apology, emphasizing that their letters were not intended to undermine the judicial system or the verdict.
Kutcher’s heartfelt apology in his resignation letter further stated, “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, effectively immediately. I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve.”
While the future of Thorn remains strong, the organization and its mission have been momentarily overshadowed by this controversy. It remains to be seen how this will impact the organization’s work and reputation in the long run.
Source: AV Club