Ashton Kutcher has resigned as chairman of Thorn, the anti-child sex abuse organization he co-founded with his ex-wife, Demi Moore, in 2009, according to Deadline. His current wife, Mila Kunis, will also step down from her observer role in the company. The couple’s decision follows criticism they received for writing letters of support for Danny Masterson, who was sentenced to 30 years in jail for raping two women.
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have resigned from Thorn, the anti-child sex abuse charity founded by Kutcher, following the fallout over their support of Danny Masterson.
In a letter to Thorn’s board shared with TIME, Ashton Kutcher acknowledged the historical silencing of sexual abuse victims and admitted his character statement for Masterson perpetuated this issue. He expressed his regret, stating, “I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve.” The Dude Where’s My Car star emphasized his 15-year commitment to supporting sexually exploited individuals and the organization’s decade-long effort to empower victims.
Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and other notable figures, including That ‘70s Show co-stars (except Topher Grace) and actor Billy Baldwin, wrote letters to Judge Charlaine Olmedo in support of Danny Masterson. Following public disclosure of the letters, Kutcher and Kunis faced backlash and subsequently released an apology video on Instagram. In the video, the couple acknowledged the pain caused by their character references for Masterson.
Danny Masterson was convicted of rape, and sentenced to decades in prison, despite the letters of support from his co-stars, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
Mila Kunis emphasized their support for victims, noting their historical commitment through their work and their intent to continue in the future. Ashton Kutcher mentioned that members of Danny Masterson’s family contacted him and Kunis to share their insights about their 25-year acquaintance with Masterson. Kunis clarified that the letters were not meant to cast doubt on the judicial system’s legitimacy or the jury’s decision.
In a letter addressed to the Thorn Board of Directors, Ashton Kutcher offered another apology to all victims of sexual violence and the Thorn community for the harm caused by him and Mila Kunis’ actions. He also expressed remorse to the wider advocacy community. In statements accompanying Kutcher’s resignation letter on the Thorn website, several board members commended his role in founding and guiding the organization.
Ernie Allen, a board member, lauded Ashton Kutcher’s dedication as a fervent advocate for children’s welfare and his unrelenting efforts in safeguarding them from sexual abuse. Allen noted his pivotal role in establishing the DNA foundation, which subsequently evolved into Thorn, transforming it into a significant global asset for law enforcement, technology firms, and other stakeholders engaged in combatting child sexual exploitation. Furthermore, he emphasized the substantial positive impact Kutcher had in this endeavor.
While Ashton Kutcher has been praised by those who worked with him in Thorn, his cancelation has been swift and sudden from most of the general public.
Another board member, Suzanne Bell, highlighted Ashton Kutcher’s founding of Thorn more than a decade ago, driven by a singular objective: shielding children from sexual abuse and affording them the rightful opportunity to enjoy a safe childhood. She commended his steadfast devotion and unyielding support for Thorn, which has propelled the organization to its prominent status as a leader in the child safety landscape. Bell further expressed her privilege to be part of this mission alongside him and Mila Kunis.
In their letter supporting Danny Masterson, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis praised his character and boasted about their enduring friendships with him. Kutcher depicted Masterson as a truthful companion, while Kunis similarly lauded Masterson’s authenticity, his role as an older brother figure, and his commitment to a drug-free life. Both Kutcher and Kunis offered their strong endorsement of the positive influence Masterson exerts on those around him.