Ashton Kutcher appeared to take to his Group.com advertising platform Tuesday afternoon to textual content what could possibly be seen as a message in response to the extreme backlash he and his spouse Mila Kunis have acquired over the character letters they wrote on behalf of their buddy, convicted rapist Danny Masterson.
The cryptic message doesn’t straight confer with Masterson. However it seems to deal with the controversy that has erupted over Kutcher and Kunis’ reward of their longtime buddy and former “That 70s Present” co-star. The couple sparked outrage for what individuals known as their “tone-deaf” letters, in addition to their “inauthentic” and “lawyered-up” makes an attempt to justify themselves in a video apology that went viral over the weekend.
Kutcher’s textual content message, which went out at 4:09 p.m. Tuesday, mentioned: “A buddy mentioned one thing to me at present: We have now one coronary heart we will fill in with hatred or love. I selected love.”
A minute later, Kutcher apparently despatched out a second message, which repeated: “I selected love.”
This “I selected love” message was despatched out to anybody who has signed as much as obtain textual content messages from the actor, by way of his “distinctive” 10-digit cellphone quantity that he advertises on his X account and which is made obtainable by Group.com’s SMS advertising platform. Kutcher, additionally a well known tech entrepreneur and investor, is a co-founder of Group.com, and he has used texts up to now to ship out private messages or to advertise new initiatives, akin to his Netflix rom-com, “Your Place or Mine.” Kutcher didn’t share his “I selected love” message on X, or on Instagram, maybe hoping he might direct it to people who find themselves largely loyal followers.
Kutcher and Kunis have been Hollywood energy couple since their marriage in 2015. They met whereas working with Masterson on the TV sitcom “That 70s Present,” which ran from 1998 to 2006, they usually started courting a number of years later, after Kutcher cut up from his first spouse Demi Moore.
The couple have been underneath hearth since Friday when their letters, that are a part of the general public document, had been disseminated within the media. Within the letters, Kutcher hailed Masterson as “a job mannequin,” whereas his spouse extolled his “glorious character.”
The day earlier than, Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life after being convicted of two counts of rape. The assaults occurred in his Hollywood Hills residence between 2001 and 2003.
After the letters had been revealed, common individuals on social media, celebrities, media commentators and Masterson’s victims picked them aside, usually occasions expressing outrage. Authorized specialists additionally weighed in, with Colleen McCormack-Maitland, the deputy director of authorized providers on the Authorized Motion Heart (LAC), telling Vox that the letters had been “out of contact” and even “counter-productive.”
Folks targeted on the couple’s claims that Masterson was important of drug use. Kutcher mentioned he attributed “not falling into the everyday Hollywood life of medicine on to Danny,” whereas Kunis mentioned that “Danny performed a pivotal function in guiding me away from such damaging paths.” Critics mentioned these statements gave the impression to be a response to particular allegations within the case, even an try to “undermine” the victims’ accusations that Masterson drugged, then raped them.
In an try at P.R. harm management, Kutcher and Kunis recorded a video over the weekend through which they apologized for his or her letters.
“We’re conscious of the ache that has been brought on by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” Kutcher mentioned within the video. He additionally mentioned the letters “had been meant for the decide to learn and to not undermine the testimony of the victims or re-traumatize them in any manner. We’d by no means wish to do this, and we’re sorry if that has taken place.”
Kunis added, “Our coronary heart goes out to each single one that’s ever been a sufferer of sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape.”
However the video was deemed “a non-apology apology” by commentators. Since then, Kutcher has turn into the actual focus of criticism, with individuals asking whether or not he’s real in his high-profile assist for causes that assist intercourse abuse victims or that struggle intercourse trafficking. He’s additionally been known as out for his integrity and previous conduct.
One among Masterson’s accusers, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, went on the offensive and advised Kutcher on Instagram Story: “You’re simply as sick as your ‘mentor.’” She and others shared outdated footage from “The Rosie O’Donnell Present,” through which Kunis recalled Kutcher making a “aspect wager” with Masterson about French-kissing her throughout a romantic scene on “That 70s Present.” Kunis was 14 years outdated on the time.
Bixler additionally pointed to a 2003 video of the actor talking on his MTV present “Punk’d” about actress Hilary Duff. Within the video, Kutcher says Duff, who was a minor on the time, is “one of many ladies that we’re all ready for to show 18. Together with the Olsen twins.”