Ashton Kutcher gets in fight with Village Voice over child sex slavery
Ashton Kutcher is on a mission to end child sex slavery and when the Village Voice criticized the actor's "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" campaign, he fought back on Twitter.
Kutcher, who is vocal on the social networking site with over 7 million followers, has launched an attack on the New York weekly. The paper published an article on Wednesday , mocking the statistics and viral videos the actor has used in his campaign.
In April, Kutcher and his wife Demi Moore told Piers Morgan that there are "between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today," adding: "If you don't do something to stop that, that's when there is something wrong with you, in my opinion."
The Village Voice said that the statistic "was hatched without regard to science. It is a bogeyman." Though between "100,000 and 300,000" is a range used by The New York Times, CNN and USA Today, among others.
The weekly reports that there are an average of 827 child prostitution arrests per year in the United States and that the origin of the number often used came from a 2001 study which referenced the number of children "at risk" for sexual exploitation.
Kutcher fired back at the weekly, writing, "Hey @villagevoice speaking of data, maybe you can help me... How much $ did your 'escorts' in your classifieds on backpage make last year?"
In his Tweets, the actor also referred to a 2010 lawsuit filed against Village Voice Media by a 15-year-old sex trafficking victim who claims the company aided and abetted prostitution ads in their classified website, Backpage.com.
Kutcher also posted a link to a discussion group on sex trafficking, where he had written, "Human trafficking data is extremely incomplete due to the psychological complexity of the issue and the lack of funding that has been allocated to research... Proving force, fraud, or coercion can be very difficult considering that the victims have often times been brain washed, beaten, raped, molested, threatened, and tormented and fear revealing the identity of their trafficker."
The Village Voice also criticized Kutcher's "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" PSAs, which feature celebrities like Sean Penn, Justin Timberlake, Drake, Jason Mraz and Bradley Cooper doing "manly things" like making a grilled cheese sandwich with an iron and fighting a robot. The weekly said the PSAs "reek of frat-boy humor."
Kutcher, 33, is known for playing naive Michael Kelso on the comedy series "That 70's Show" between 1998 and 2006 and also hosted the hidden camera prank show "Punk'd" for MTV between 2003 and 2009. He recently starred opposite Natalie Portman in the romantic comedy movie "No Strings Attached."
In May, the actor was cast to replace Charlie Sheen on CBS' "Two and a Half Men."
Do you think the Village Voice is right to criticize Ashton Kutcher's efforts? Watch Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher's Piers Morgan appearance and one of the "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" PSAs below and vote in our poll.