Jenny DeMilo

Ashton Kutcher Vs Village Voice Media

Ok to play a sex worker, not ok to be one?

The Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore’s anti trafficking campaign “Real men don’t buy girls” has long bothered me. It’s made me so upset that i haven’t been able to write about it because i get too emotional when trying to put my thoughts down in writing. It bothers me for a lot of reasons. Because its the celeb cause of the day, because it’s always felt so completely dishonest, because it conflates sexual slavery of under age children with that of consensual paid sex acts between adults, because it ignores BOYS (as if they are never victims of trafficking) and i could go on and on and on and on and on. It upsets me and bothers me on so many levels that’s it has hard for me to verbalize how it makes me feel. Basically I’ve talked to friends, colleagues and tweeted on occasion but about it but that’s it, until today. Why today? Village Voice Media owners of Backpage wrote a front page story and debunked the child sexual slavery numbersthat both Dude where’s my car and Jules from St Elmo’s Fire and other abolitionist groups  love to throw around to solicit donations for their anti trafficking campaigns. Turns out the numbers are greatly and flagrantly exaggerated like i always FELT they were but now a Pulitzer prize winning paper has done the research and homework and confirmed what i had a hard time putting into words.The numbers are wrong. The facts are wrong, Demi and Ashton are wrong. Look Sexual slavery is a terrible thing, sex workers like myself want to stop it as much if not more then the average Joe. We know first hand the realities of sex work, much more so then an ex soap opera actress and the guy from that 70′s Show. We want to do our part to end child trafficking, that’s very hard to do when Sex work is criminalized and children engaged in prostitution be in by corrosion or choice are branded criminals and offered very little services besides a jail sentence. If we report a crime we’re at risk of being arrested ourselves and were often the ones most able identify a crime. We have access and knowledge others like celebrities and law enforcement dont. Plain and simple.

Both Demi More and Ashton Kutcher have made money portraying sex workers. Demi even famously underwent breast augmentation surgery for the role of a stripper. So what gives with the blatant hostility towards sex workers? Why do they need to use junk science and inflated numbers to further their cause. Why create and exaggerate  problems that doesn’t exist, when you can work to address the problem that does exist. Is it because if there are an average of 1,000 trafficked children a year that its not going to raise the money you don’t funnel down to services for victims, then if you LIE and say 300,000? It’s hard to get the big bucks without the splashy numbers, so they “find” splashy numbers even if they have to make them up or turn a blind eye to the fact that are are made up and inaccurate.

Ashton tweeted just today that “he only played dumb on TV”  as he got into a pissing match with a news outlet because he didn’t like them taking him to task for his inability to get his facts straight. He then went on to try to get advertisers to remove ads from The Village Voice  because VVM owns backpage and sex workers advertise there, which of course revealed all anyone would need to know about Ashton Kutcher’s real agenda. Ashton Kutcher is against sex workers, their rights and possibly their very existences. He’s an abolitionist and he let let his slip show in the midst of his Twitter melt down because he got some bad press.

… yeah he only plays dumb on TV?  I’m not buying that argument.

Related Links:

Village Voice: http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-06-29/news/real-men-get-their-facts-straight-sex-trafficking-ashton-kutcher-demi-moore/

NBC: http://digitallife.today.com/_news/2011/06/30/6982716-kutcher-vs-voice-in-twitter-sex-slave-fight

SWOP-LA: http://swoplosangeles.org/2011/07/01/village-voice-vs-ashton-kutcher/

MaggieMcNeill: http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/village-voice-strikes-again/

Charlie Glickman: http://www.charlieglickman.com/2011/07/when-arrogance-meets-activism-ashton-kutcher-and-sex-trafficking/

Gawker: http://gawker.com/5817554/

Boing Boing: http://www.boingboing.net/2011/07/01/ashton-kutcher-bulli.html

Reuters: http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/07/02/the-village-voice-looks-at-underage-prostitution-statistics/

The News Junkie: http://thenewsjunkie.com/2011/07/ashton-kutchers-stupid-twitter-war-against-the-village-voice/

Videogum: http://videogum.com/328481/the-village-voice-takes-on-ashton-kutcher-about-child-sex-slavery-or-yikes/psas/

Seattle Weekly: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2011/07/trevor_neilson_hollywoods_king.php

Tits and Sass: http://titsandsass.com/?p=2941

Village Voic: (follow up) http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-07-06/news/stuck-in-trafficking/

4 thoughts on “Ashton Kutcher Vs Village Voice Media

  1. Pingback: Village Voice vs. Ashton Kutcher « Dedicated to ending violence & stigma against sex workers

  2. Lucy Blake

    Hello,

    Thanks for your blog – I’ve been watching this issue as well with cross eyed fury. I appreciate hearing a sex workers view after seeing Ashton and Demi bumble thru their glossy campaign in their hypocritical fashion.

    It always stuns me how people will first promote and glamorize something and then when presenting it as legitimate no longer works for them and there’s no more money to be made off it in a positive light, they’ll flip it and destroy it to make money and gain position.

    They’re not health workers, not sex workers, not peer educators so how are they even vaguely qualified to act as regulators of an industry? They’re just numbnuts going thru a slow news period. Even worse, if you’re trying to “fix” a “problem” you don’t come at it having made judgements and already having boxed people and their lives.

    They’re a disgusting judgmental duo. Who are they to judge?! Demi prostitutes herself in many of the movies she’s been in from the stripper movie to Ghost… I believe she was paid to kiss a dude, make dudes believe she was in love with them/cared greatly for them, take her clothes off, get around with her boobs flashing, twirl around a strippers pole in front of an orjy of men…. definition of a hooker if I ever saw one. Actors prostitute themselves all the time and carry out many of the acts we do as sex workers on film and get paid shit loads of money for it, so who are they to make judgement?!

    I just threw up a little bit in my mouth!

    Lucy

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