Ashton Kutcher announces he's giving up acting for this heartwarming reason
While we may know Ashton Kutcher for being a bonafide heartthrob, and the star of several hit television shows and movies, including That '70s Show and No Strings Attached, it's evident that in recent years the actor has turned his attention to the simpler things in life, chiefly, his family and philanthropy.
Back in 2009, Kutcher teamed up with his ex-wife, actress Demi Moore, to establish the international human rights organisation, DNA Foundation, to address the sexual exploitation of children and the spread of child pornography. But of late, the 40-year-old has stepped away from acting and has been dedicating his time and efforts to save over 6,000 child abuse victims after co-founding the nonprofit, Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children.
Working with several influential partners which includes the likes of Google and Facebook, Thorn utilises technology to assist the police in identifying and tracking down child abusers.
While the organisation's main aim is to eradicate child sex exploitation, at the Dreamforce Software Conference in San Francisco in November of last year, Kutcher revealed that the nonprofit also aids adults who are victims of abuse too. "It is not the force for good or the force for evil. That’s you. You are the force for good or the force for evil," he explained.
"There are millions of images that are transferred daily of child abuse material. We’ve identified 6,000 children that are being abused. We’ve identified 12,000 adults that are also being abused, and 6,000 abusers. The only question we have to ask ourselves is, ‘How good are we?’ I’ve articulated my purpose. The question is, what is yours?'
Kutcher also highlighted how Thorn researches and funds various tools that can be used by law enforcement agencies to tackle the global dilemma. In 2013, the organisation created a text messaging service alongside the Salesforce Foundation and Twilio which was put to use by The National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Thorn also works on "Project Vic" - a collaborative effort which reduces the time it takes for police officials to analyse seized content and potential evidence.
Speaking to ABC News about why he's so dedicated and passionate about Thorn, Kutcher said "As part of my anti-trafficking work, I’ve met victims in Russia, I’ve met victims in India, I’ve met victims that have been trafficked from Mexico, victims from New York and New Jersey and all across our country."
"I’ve been on FBI raids where I’ve seen things that no person should ever see," the father-of-two continued. "I’ve seen video content of a child that’s the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia."
"And this child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play. She’d been abused for three years and they’d watched her for three years and they could not find the perpetrator, asking us for help. We were the last line of defence. An actor and his foundation were the potential last line of defence."
"That’s my day job and I’m sticking to it," he concluded.
Well, Ashton Kutcher should certainly be praised for dedicating his time to such a worthwhile project. While we've missed seeing him on our screens, it's evident that not only is this a cause that is close to his heart, but one that needs all the time and resources that someone of Kutcher's influence can provide.