Most people know Ashton Kutcher for his role as Michael Kelso on “That’s 70’s Show” but the actor has a passion much bigger than his spotlight–the fight against human trafficking.
Kutcher and his exwife, Demi Moore, founded the organization Thorn in 2008. Thorn creates tracking technology to end sex slavery, specifically trafficking of children. Recently, Kutcher has been in the news because he has been promoting this issue more.
Lauren Hackett, junior graphic design major and member of the International Justice Movement at California Baptist University, said his work to stop sex slavery is admirable.
“He is passionate about ending sex trafficking, especially with children,” Hackett said.
Hackett said Kutcher can have a major influence because of his platform, which is something Kutcher has said is the reason he is a good person to fight for this issue.
“It’s an issue that’s not talked about often in the media. (Kutcher) is a likable guy, a household name, so being able to associate him with that issue could bring a lot of awareness … (with) that level of (fame),” Hackett said.
Kutcher has received some level of criticism for his work, and those who are not in support may suggest the actor should stick to his “day job.”
“Ashton sees this bigger purpose and he’s using the talents and gifts that he was given, such as comedy and acting, to use that as a platform,” Hackett said. “That’s something to be admired and not looked down upon.”
The Thorn website also shines a light on how pornography is influencing sex slavery. Hackett said pornography has seemed to become a norm in today’s culture.
“In America, and a lot of western culture, pornography is taboo,” Hackett said.“It’s a huge factor–sex trade and sexual violence is a component people don’t often think about.”
Justina Drescher, junior nursing major, said Kutcher can have a huge influence to stop sex trafficking because he is a well-known personality.
“When you have somebody who already has followers come alongside or start something like that, a lot of people will jump onboard,” Drescher said.
Through Thorn’s fight against sex trafficking, 2,020 children were identified as sex slaves, and 6,000 victims have been rescued in 2016 alone–and numbers will continue to grow.