The Apology Video
Too little and too late. This seems to be the judgement of the social media after actors Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher apologized on Instagram shortly after their former partner, actor Danny Masterson, was sentenced. Just as the series in which the three actors had worked together, Those Wonderful 70s, was being broadcast. At roughly the same time as the announcement of the verdict, the letters that the two actors had sent to the court that tried Masterson were made public, in which the two defended the rapist as an “extraordinarily honest” human being and with an “inborn sense of justice”, who “despite being convicted of serious crimes [as Kutcher, the only one to make reference to the case in his letter, recognized], I do not believe he represents a current danger to society”.
Criticisms and Reactions
Criticisms did not take long to arrive and, after the impact of the verdict, which sentenced the actor to a minimum of 30 years in prison (Masterson is now 47 years old), the couple formed by Kunis and Kutcher decided to give their version on social media to apologize. This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from. The apology video, without the possibility of comment, received criticism of all kinds. Filmed outside the couple’s residence (a background of wooden boards that they have used for other campaigns), the two actors acknowledge that they have made a mistake and claim to be “aware of the pain they have caused” with the letters in defense of Masterson. “We support the victims,” said Kunis. “It’s something we’ve done over time, through our work, and we’ll continue to do it in the future.” Kutcher explained that the writings were sent at the request of Masterson’s family and were not intended to “undermine the credibility” of the victims. But timing was crucial. Actress Christina Ricci was straightforward on her Instagram profile: “It is a crime to discredit the victims (…) Believe the victims. It is not easy to talk. It is not easy to get a conviction”. One of the victims also criticized the couple on her networks, and several Internet users are resurrecting videos from those years, in which they criticize the macho behavior of both Masterson and Kutcher himself.
In any case, the most unanimous criticism has been that of taking the side of the aggressor and apologizing only after the final sentence. Apologies that for many have been insufficient: at no time do the two actors condemn Masterson, or the acts he committed, nor do they distance themselves from his figure in an unequivocal way. They only recognize the “legitimacy” of the judicial system and the verdict of the jury.