We know him as a talented actor and all-round awesome funny person, but let’s not forget that Ashton Kutcher is also something else: An activist. He even founded the non-profit Thorn, aimed specifically at helping children who have been the victims of sex crimes and human trafficking.
On Wednesday, Kutcher testified on Capitol Hill about human trafficking and modern slavery — which continues to be a huge global concern.
Addressing the Senate, Kutcher spoke very passionately about his goals. “I am here today to defend the right to pursue happiness. The right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away. It is raped. It is abused. It is taken by force, fraud, or coercion. It is sold for the momentary happiness of another.”
He went on to explain that, although everyone knows him as an actor and some critics have criticized his involvement in politics, he’s 100% committed to his work with Thorn.
“My day job is as the chairman and co-founder of Thorn. We build software to fight human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. The other of my day jobs is being the father of two,” he said in his speech.
You can see a segment of Kutcher’s speech below, where he talks about horrific things he’s seen and heard happening to children the same age as his daughter. (Warning: this content is highly disturbing).
It’s amazing to see someone with such a public platform speaking out about such a crucial political issue. There was no sense of star power in the room, even when Senator John McCain lightened the mood with a joke, saying, “you were better looking in the movies.” Kutcher smiled and let it roll off his shoulders.
Here is Kutcher’s entire speech (it’s about 15 minutes):
Thank you for raising awareness about these hugely important — and all too often, ignored — issues, Ashton. You’re making us proud, and challenging us to be better, too.