The Graceful Boon

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I’m kind of behind when it comes to celebrity news, which is fairly bad as a lot of my content is based on and related to celebrity news and media . In my defence, though, I was in Israel and just enjoyed my time there instead of being on my phone almost 24/7 like I am at home. While I was away, it was brought to my attention that Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis made headlines, and in the best way. They continuously keep making headlines as time goes on and more stories about them continue destroying their reputations.

In 2017, three women reported that Danny Masterson had raped them in a period of two years between 2001 and 2003. For those of you that don’t know who he is, Masterson is a former actor who co-starred with Kutcher and Kunis on ‘That 70’s Show’ between 1998 and 2006. He also co-starred with Kutcher on Netflix’s ‘The Ranch’, but was let go early when the allegations came about. According to Wikipedia, Masterson’s acting career came to an end in 2018.

Naturally so, Masterson’s wife, Bijou Phillips, a former actress and singer, initially stood by her husband’s side and defended him all throughout until the very end of his trial when he was convicted of raping two out of three women and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Soon after the conviction was made public, Phillips officially filed for divorce. Keep in mind, he was convicted of rape solely based on words, and words only. There was no evidence, nor was there any proof that the occurrences actually happened. For rape victims and survivors, it’s groundbreaking. In most rape and sexual assault cases, the system isn’t in the victim’s favour. Even with all the evidence and proof in the world, the victim is somehow called a liar. That’s why I never bothered to report my own case. It was already hard going through the aftermath of that night. I didn’t to add any more trauma and embarrassment to it.

Masterson’s family had asked about 50 people to write character letters to be read during the trial in an aim to reduce his sentencing. This wasn’t a a question of whether he was innocent or guilty. It was proven already that he, in fact, was guilty. Instead, this was a question of how long he’d be jailed for. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis were 2 of the 50 people who wrote character letters.

In part, this was what Ashton wrote in his letter:

“I met Danny Masterson when I was 20 years old in 1998,” the actor wrote, according to a letter published in US media.

“He instantly became a friend, dedicated co-worker, and role model to me. And has remained as such for 25 years.

“He’s an extraordinarily honest and intentional human being. Over (the) 25-year relationship I don’t ever recall him lying to me. He’s taught me about being direct and confronting issues in life and relationships head-on, resolving them, and moving forward.”

“I do not believe he is an ongoing harm to society and having his daughter raised without a present father would (be) a tertiary injustice in and of itself.”

And this was what Mila Kunis wrote in her letter:

Throughout our time together, Danny has proven to be an amazing friend, confidant, and, above all, an outstanding older brother figure to me,” she said.

“His caring nature and ability to offer guidance have been instrumental in my growth both personally and professionally.”

I have some thoughts…

Actually, a lot of people had thoughts about the matter. Celebrities such as Kathy Griffin and Christina Ricci were quick to speak out against the couple. They both have had experience with abuse and violence against women one way or another. Griffin’s deceased brother was a pedophile, and Ricci experienced abuse that came from her ex-husband. Both women said it best. Ricci said that abuse is hidden a lot of the times, and that a person can play pretend and make others believe they’re a good person, but on the inside they are who they are, and that is an abuser – it’s as simple as that. Griffin, for her part, made another point, which is that you can love someone wholeheartedly, but once you find out that they’re a predator, you turn against them and do anything and everything possible to support their victim(s).

There was one person out of the cast of ‘That 70’s Show’ who didn’t write a character letter in support of Danny Masterson, and that was Topher Grace. Rumour has it that he left the show early because he didn’t fit in with the cast’s work culture. He was all about the work, and once the director yelled ‘CUT!’, he’d go home, whereas the rest of the cast would hang out outside of their work environment. By not writing a character letter, he made everything loud and clear without even saying anything. Griffin’s point was on the matter held true. When you find out someone close to you did such a terrible thing, you turn against them no matter how hard it might be. And even though Grace stayed silent on the matter, his wife didn’t. As soon as the verdict became public, she made her support of rape victims know on Instagram.

When I saw that specific Instagram Story, I almost started to cry, and I’m not even embarrassed to say it. It was just a simple Instagram Story. She simply wrote that she supports all rape victims. She sees them and hears them. Wait. Correction. She sees US and hears US. I’m part of that community as well. It took me 15 years after the matter to feel like I’m in a much better place. It took away a part of me. A part of me had died, and I’ve never been the same. I’ll never be the same because of that night. Throughout the years, U never felt heard, nor seen by those around me.

When I say I never felt heard or seen, I mean I never felt heard or seen by those who were closest to me. I didn’t feel anyone really understood me. There were instances where the ones that claimed to be my friends supported the ones that sexually assaulted me. They even managed to make excuses for them as to why they did what they did. They did so with smirks and expected me to still stay friends with them. When I refused to oblige, they were astonished by the fact that I didn’t want to associate with that type of behaviour.

A lot of the time, actually most of the time throughout the years, I felt that my story with sexual assault and abuse was seen as being funny. Two people, specifically, that were close friends of mine at the time laughed at my face at what I’d gone through on separate occasions. I continued being friends with them for years after, even giving excuses for their behaviour. One apologized with an ‘I’m sorry, but…’, which isn’t even an apology, but an excuse for it because she felt she had to. The other apologized, but continued on with their pattern of finding every opportunity to laugh at my expense. And then there was one specific couple my husband and I were friends with that made excuses for their friend who sexually assaulted me at their event and said my reaction to it was ‘dramatic’.

To me, these patterns of behaviour are no different than the behaviour of those that abused me. In fact, I think they were worse than my abusers because these people are the ones that support any type of sexual assault and abuse. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s character letters and their apology, which half-a**ed might I add, reminded me of those from my past, as well as why I’m no longer friends with any of those people.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are the types of people that will make a sexual assault victim and survivor feel worthless. They say they support victims of sexual assault, but then they write a character letter defending their rapist friend by calling him ‘caring’ and ‘outstanding’. You can’t have it both ways. Either you support victims or you don’t. In my eyes, they don’t because no matter what they say, they made the conscious decision to write those letters of support while knowing that their friend did horrible things to women. To contradict that, I’m pretty sure if anything such as rape happened to their own daughter, they wouldn’t defend such a horrible, horrific action or the person who’d do that to their daughter.

There’s just no excuse for supporting a predator; no matter how close you are with them or how long you’ve known them. PERIOD. And if you do support these actions, then you’re worse than the predator themselves. Actions speak louder than words. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis can say however many times they want that they support victims of sexual assault, but their actions of writing character letters with words such as the one included above say otherwise.

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