That 70’s Show gone wrong

HYPOCRITES: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s apology video on their Instagram. (KTLA)

Emma Barbernell | Writer & Photographer

September 28, 2023

Danny Masterson, star from That 70’s Show, was charged with two counts of rape and sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. This is not the first time Masterson has been accused, but the first he’s been convicted.

Co-stars Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher were asked to write character letters on behalf of the Masterson’s court hearing. The family of Masterson begged his community to write letters and share what kind of man they “knew for [the past] 25 years.”

Kutcher and Kunis responded to the letters and described Masterson as a brotherly figure, idol, and positive influence. Once this public record was released, critics bombarded them with distaste toward their insensitivity to the situation. Senior Avery Vainoris commented, “I always thought they were shady. Their age difference never sat right with me, especially after they met when Mila was 14 and Ashton was an adult.”

The couple responded with a video concerning their character letters advocating for themselves and stated that, “The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling. We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future,” (Mila and Ashton’s Instagram video).

MONSTER: Danny Masterson in court. (USA Today)

Junior Eliotte Paredes shared, “One must consider that the fame gained by both by being in That 70’s Show could influence Kunis and Kutcher to want to praise Masterson’s character for saving themselves, as the public already tightly associates both parties.”

Chrissie Carnell Bixler, one of Masterson’s victims, discredited the video and responded, “In my opinion, you’re [Kutcher] just as sick as your ‘mentor.'” In response, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis stepped down from their roles in the anti-trafficking organization Thorn; Ashton started with his ex-wife, Demi Moore.

Their letters were hypocritical and incredibly insensitive, putting Masterson on a pedestal for his anti-drug feelings throughout their friendship and time together on That 70’s Show, although he drugged his victims. Letters matter to people, especially marginalized groups who do not have networks or celebrities to support them. Many fans have withdrawn their support from Mila and Ashton. It’s essential not to let public authority dictate how a court ruling goes or how a criminal is portrayed. Often, people in the public eye who are extensively praised for their work are not held to the same standard the average person would be.

About Emma Barbernell 11 Articles
Emma Barbernell is a junior and first year newspaper photographer and writer at SCHS. She prides herself in being a thrift master and spends her time dirtying her hands in the Goodwill bins. On an off day you might catch her looking like Adam Sandler, or if you're lucky an off duty model. You can also find her low balling questionable resellers at any of the local flea markets. When she's not getting deals you can find her long boarding at San-O, rock climbing, collecting vinyl, cooking, arguing with her parents, lifting, hammocking with her dog, and learning guitar from Lindsay Coulson. After high school, she plans to see the world and take pictures while doing it.

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