Actor Ashton Kutcher has turned into a political activist after he gave a passionate speech at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing focused on ending modern slavery and child sexual exploitation.
The 39-year-old actor is passionate about addressing issues of child and sex abuse as he co-founded the technology company Thorn, which aims to build software tools to combat child sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Kutcher delivered a powerful 15-minute speech detailing how technology can play a role in ending the vicious practices of rape and modern slavery.
“This is about the time, when I start talking about politics, that the Internet trolls start telling me to stick to my day job,” Kutcher told the panel. But Kutcher said his day job comprised of working at Thorn to fight child sex crimes, and of being a father to two children.
“I’ve been on FBI raids where I’ve seen things that no person should ever see,” he said, appearing to choke up. “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.”
Kutcher made mention of a time his company had once received a call from the Department of Homeland Security asking for help in locating a serial sex abuser.
“We were the last line of defense, an actor and his foundation, we were the potential last line of defense,” he said. “That’s my day job, and I’m sticking to it.”
“Technology can be used to enable slavery, but it can also be used to disable slavery, and that’s what we’re doing,” he added.
At one point Senator John McCain (R-AZ) joked with Kutcher about being better looking in the movies.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 15, 2017
“You were better-looking in the movies,” McCain joked to Kutcher, before The Ranch star blew back a kiss in response.
Watch the full speech below.