Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are facing intensified criticism for sending letters of support to a judge following Danny Masterson’s rape conviction.
Kutcher and Kunis, who co-starred with Masterson in That ‘70s Show, issued apologies for their letters of support to the judge after Masterson’s conviction for rape. Masterson received a 30-year to life sentence for raping two women.
One of the women who came forward against Masterson found the apology “incredibly insulting and hurtful. Identified as Jane Doe number one, she sent a text message to Huffington Post journalist Yashar Ali in response to Kutcher’s recorded apology posted on Instagram. In the text, she expressed her disappointment and hope that Kutcher and Kunis learn from this experience, emphasising the importance of self-education and accountability, especially for Kutcher, who claims to work with victims of sex crimes. She also mentioned “Time’s Up,” an organisation dedicated to ending harassment, assault, and discrimination.
Actress Christina Ricci shared a statement on social media that many interpreted as a comment on Kutcher and Kunis’s support letters. She pointed out that sometimes people we admire may commit terrible acts, and just because they didn’t do these things to us personally doesn’t mean they didn’t do them. She stressed the importance of supporting victims and acknowledging the reality that individuals we perceive as “awesome guys” can also be abusers.
The rapes in question occurred at Masterson’s home in Hollywood in 2003, while he was starring in That ‘70s Show. Kunis and Kutcher, who married in 2015, gained fame through the same sitcom. In their letters to the judge, dated July 27, Kutcher described Masterson as a person who treated others with decency and generosity, while Kunis referred to him as an outstanding role model and friend.
Masterson was found guilty of two counts of rape by a jury of seven women and five men in May. Despite the backlash, Kutcher and Kunis have continued their professional careers, including reprising their roles in the Netflix series That ‘90s Show and Kutcher’s involvement in the US sitcom The Ranch.