This post contains discussion of rape and sexual assault.
Earlier this week, Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison after he was found guilty this past May of raping two women in the early 2000s.
Several days ago, it was revealed that Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis wrote separate letters of support for leniency ahead of Danny's sentencing.
In his letter, Ashton referred to Danny as a "role model" and said he did "not believe [Danny] is an ongoing harm to society," ultimately asking that Danny receive a lesser sentence because "having his daughter raised without a present father would [be] a tertiary injustice in and of itself."
The backlash has been swift. In what could be interpreted as a response to Ashton and Mila's gesture, Topher Grace's wife Ashley posted on IG, “To every rape victim that is retraumatized by witnessing society debate and focus their attention what is going to happen to the RAPIST…I see you.”
In a subsequent apology video with Mila, Ashton explained that the letters were requested by Danny's family to "represent the person that we knew for 25 years" and "were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or retraumatize them in any way."
In light of their actions, however, people are revisiting past comments made by Ashton that have not aged well.
One specific instance being revisited is a clip from a 2003 episode of Punk'd that featured Hilary Duff.
to all the people telling on themselves, it’s not normal to express desire for a child to age quickly so you can sleep with them, plz guzzle a gallon of milk after it’s been in the sun for two weeks thank u
— riley (@princess_antifa) September 9, 2023
MTV, @princess_antifa / Via Twitter: @princess_antifa
In the clip, Ashton makes mention of how Hilary was 15 years old at the time of filming.
"Hilary Duff is in Lizzie McGuire," Ashton says in the clip. "She also has an album out. She's going to be in a movie called Cheaper by the Dozen."
"And she's one of the girls that we're all waiting for to turn 18."
Obviously, none of that was ever OK to say to begin with — and now, in light of Ashton's recent actions, it seems even worse. Here's some of the internet's reactions:
This was one of the norms back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. it’s really weird looking back on how people weren’t shy about finding a minor attractive. I remember there was a website that counted down to the Olsen twins 18th birthday.
— E_Manny (@Manny0926) September 9, 2023
@Manny0926 / Via Twitter: @Manny0926
Okay so imagine being an underage girl in Hollywood…this is just a sneak peek of what you are surrounded by and how you are viewed/treated. https://t.co/dmyFO1aksX
— Alexa Nikolas (@alexanikolas__) September 9, 2023
MTV, @alexanikolas__ / Via Twitter: @alexanikolas__
The huge social leap from the 2000's to now is staggering....saying shit like this was no biggie back then https://t.co/nUzQ3TISnM
— Anthony (@AnthonyGSupreme) September 10, 2023
MTV, @AnthonyGSupreme / Via Twitter: @AnthonyGSupreme
wait a damn minute. ashton played the boyfriend of hilary’s older sister in cheaper by the dozen. so the whole time they were shooting (when hillary was 16) he was lusting after her? as a 25 year old???? https://t.co/lmY9j4SKuN
— rizzie mcguire (@daniellecanyell) September 9, 2023
MTV, @daniellecanyell / Via Twitter: @daniellecanyell
what makes this even more nauseating is in 2002/2003, a 24 or 25 year old ashton kutcher worked with a 15 or 16 year old hilary duff on the set of cheaper by the dozen. him then going on to say this… i don’t have a single positive thing to say about ashton kutcher https://t.co/FV5KNeznkT
— sk (@kirkxxs) September 9, 2023
MTV, @kirkxxs / Via Twitter: @kirkxxs
MTV, @fiImgal / Via Twitter: @fiImgal
This is why I’m distrusting of mfers that talk about the “legal age” like it’s some absolute moral pass. Because you know those dudes (and it’s almost always cis dudes) would immediately go after 14-16 year olds if the law allowed it. And most of them do it regardless https://t.co/6UHn6Sj51P
— Vonté ZX Advent (@NepSwirlRedux) September 9, 2023
MTV, @NepSwirlRedux / Via Twitter: @NepSwirlRedux
mtv recorded this and put it on tv as if this was a perfectly normal way to talk about children 🙂 when we complain about how long it took to get r kelly out of here we should really take a look at the predatory media environment these companies fostered at the time too https://t.co/e7AflXsq3C
— tired med student (@badmethodology) September 9, 2023
MTV, @badmethodology / Via Twitter: @badmethodology
I remember watching these shows as a kid, and some things they would say would make me uncomfortable. But I was always told as a kid that I was overly sensitive and as I’ve gotten older it’s become clear to me that I was right and some grown adults were just weird and creepy https://t.co/vq3pIV5WUK
— Danielle Gold (@daniellegold_) September 10, 2023
MTV, @daniellegold_ / Via Twitter: @daniellegold_
the amount of “countdown to 18” clocks there were on underage child actors in the 2000s is sickening to think about https://t.co/yj6R8fDROo
— frankenstein’s monster apologist✨ (@maryswraith) September 9, 2023
MTV, @maryswraith / Via Twitter: @maryswraith
Funny that for years the narrative was Topher Grace was a dick because he left That ‘70s Show for a movie career and wasn’t close with the rest of the cast (a scientologist, scientologist rapist, 4 rapist apologists, and a guy who dated a bunch of 17 year olds in his mid-20s). https://t.co/sGYIzPiwsB
— Matt Ray (@Matt__Ray) September 9, 2023
@Matt__Ray / Via Twitter: @Matt__Ray