Trigger warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual violence.
The fallout from Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ support of their former That ’70s Show co-star, Danny Masterson, has been swift and disappointing. Masterson was recently sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women. The leaked letters of support written by Kutcher and Kunis for Masterson have only added fuel to the fire.
Masterson was first accused of rape in 2017 by three women who were associated with the Church of Scientology. Journalist Tony Ortega posted the allegations, claiming that one victim approached former Scientologist Leah Remini with her story. Remini then advised the woman to file a police report, leading to the charges against Masterson.
During Masterson’s trial, which ended in a mistrial due to a deadlocked jury, Kutcher and Kunis submitted letters to the judge asking for leniency on Masterson’s behalf. The letters were recently leaked, much to the disappointment of many. One victim, Niesha Trout, confirmed the existence of the letters on Twitter.
The content of the letters has been made public, with Kutcher expressing his support for Masterson as a friend and mentor. Kunis spoke highly of Masterson’s character, highlighting his role in promoting a drug-free lifestyle and his dedication to his family.
However, these letters have sparked outrage and disbelief among many who question the message they send to survivors of sexual assault. Supporters of the #MeToo movement argue that standing by a convicted rapist only perpetuates a culture of silence and victim-blaming.
It is crucial to remember that sexual assault is a serious crime that has devastating effects on survivors. Support should be given to those who have experienced such trauma, rather than to those who have committed the offense.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, please seek help. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 for free and confidential support.
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