Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis say they are “supporting victims” in a new Instagram video after it was revealed they had written letters supporting leniency in Danny Masterson’s sentencing.
Masterson, who was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison after being convicted of two rape charges in May, co-starred with the married couple on That 70’s show. The couple remained close with the actor in the years after the Fox sitcom ended in 2006, with Kutcher and Masterson co-starring in the Netflix sitcom. The farm in 2016. (Masterson was fired from the show in 2017 after sexual assault allegations resurfaced.)
Character letters to the judge in the Masterson case were published on Friday, showing that Kutcher and Kunis had asked the judge for leniency in sentencing. In their separate letters, the couple called Masterson a “role model” and a great father, praising him for discouraging drug use during their time in prison. That 70’s show.
The backlash was swift on social media, with many people calling out Kutcher and Kunis for supporting a person convicted of rape while proclaiming that they support the victims with their work. That work includes Kutcher’s role in anti-human trafficking organization Thorn and Kunis as producer and star of Happiest girl in the worlda film in which she plays a rape survivor.
Kutcher, who also co-starred with Masterson in the Netflix sitcom The farmshared the video on his Instagram account, in which he and the Ted actress.
“We are aware of the pain caused by the character letters we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” Kutcher said.
“We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future,” Kunis continued.
Kutcher said the letters were written “a few months ago” at the request of Masterson’s family, who contacted them to “write character letters to represent the person we knew for 25 years so that the judge could fully is being considered with regard to sentencing.”
Kunis noted, “The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the legal system or the validity of the jury’s verdict.”
“They were intended to be read by the judge and not to undermine the victims’ testimonies or retraumatize them in any way. We would never want to do that. And we are sorry if that occurred,” Kutcher said.
Kunis closed the video with, “Our hearts go out to anyone who has ever been a victim of sexual assault or abuse.”
Kutcher and Kunis aren’t the only stars who wrote letters on Masterson’s behalf. Fellow That 70’s show actors Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp also praised Masterson in letters, as did Masterson’s longtime friend, actor Giovanni Ribisi, and Masterson’s brother-in-law Billy Baldwin.