Last week, the court sentenced convicted rapist Danny Masterson to 30 years in prison.
The two survivors for whom he received the convictions and sentencing were not his only accusers. They are just the only ones whose charges could bring him to justice — so far.
In a clownish and inexcusable move, Masterson’s former castmates Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis wrote on his behalf. Fortunately, their misguided pleas for leniency succeeded only in pissing off a lot of people.
Now, one of Masterson’s accusers is pointing out that Kutcher’s history looks a little creepy, too.
Chrissie Bixler is only one of several women to publicly come forward with a horror story about Danny Masterson.
In the wake of Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ clownish advocacy for their scumbag That ’70s Show castmate, she decided to call them out.
She was far from alone. But she singled out Kutcher, including a number of callbacks to some creepy jokes and other unsettling moments.
Back when Hilary Duff was a teenage minor, Kutcher did an episode of Punk’d that featured her.
He joked at the time that she was one of the young actresses that “we’re all waiting for to turn 18.”
Other clips covered how Kutcher and Kunis first met on That ’70s Show and shared their first kiss on set. Famously, Mila joined the cast when she was only 14. (And, grossly, there’s a clip of Masterson telling Mila that she was hotter at that age)
We can acknowledge that a lot of people made effed up jokes that have not aged well. Part of life is about growing and learning.
Societal norms about humor shift, usually in positive direction. Over time, people realize that ostensibly harmless jokes can help to normalize things that are harmful or even straight-up evil.
You know, there was a whole brand of Nazi-related humor that was popular on the internet for a while. You know what killed it? A very public resurgence of very real Nazis. Fascism jokes are less funny if a fascist laughs.
Well, the same is largely true about jokes about counting down the days until a teenager turns 18.
It sounds like a joke. Only the creepiest weirdos would ask out someone on their 18th birthday because it was illegal the day before. Or literally count down to their birthdays with the intention of pursuing them.
But a lot of people have a better understanding of just how many creepy weirdos there are out there.
That said … you know what’s usually a good indicator that someone has grown out of a garbage pattern of behavior, like predatory jokes?
If they show signs that they’ve changed.
The biggest step to that is no longer telling jokes that might make an actual predator laugh, or normalize their behavior. The second biggest is just showing how opposed you are to actual bad guys. Writing a letter to defend a convicted rapist? That’s not that.
As for the bit about the age gap … 5 years is an inconsequential age gap at almost any point.
That said, when Ashton and Mila first met, she was only 14. She misled casting directors about her age in order to get the role. He was 19.
But they were both teenagers, which could be worse. And they didn’t actually start dating until 2012 — years and years after the series ended.
We don’t think that anyone circulating these clips that Bixler pointed out believes that Kutcher is a predator like Masterson. Not really.
Mostly, people are just calling out moments of his that haven’t aged well. Why? Because both of these actors burned a lot of social capitol when they wrote to defend a convicted rapist.
This was not a case of two people doing a good thing, because defending a monster is bad. We should all just be happy that their efforts were in vain. People will be bringing up this blunder for years to come, however.