Ashton Kutcher, via the DNA (Demi and Ashton) Foundation, has taken a hard line on child prostitution — using the foundation to spread awareness about a problem that, he has claimed, affects between 100,000 and 300,000 kids a year.
But, according to the Village Voice, that figure is inaccurate and they said as much in a new article titled “Real Men Get Their Facts Straight.” (Kutcher’s campaign against child prostitution is titled “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls.”)
The figure, the newspaper contends, is from a study by two University of Pennsylvania professors and represents the number of children at risk for sexual exploitation. The actual number of kids subjected to child prostitution is, the three reporters who did their fact-checking argue, a fraction of that.
The article alludes to Kutcher and Moore’s fueling of an “underage-prostitution panic.” Though the DNA foundation is only one of many entities that uses the numbers from the study in question, so why the Voice chose to pick on Kutcher, we don’t know.
But we do know that it got the new “Two and a Half Men” star mad enough to engage in some downright trash talk about the Voice on Twitter on Wednesday (June 29).
“Hey, @villagevoice,” tweeted Kutcher, “hows the lawsuit from the 15 year old who alleges you helped enslave them going?”
Kutcher then takes the paper to task for its classified ads, which he implies are a tool used by sexual predators. He asks if any age verification check is done before placing personals and challenges the paper to a direct debate. The Voice, also via Twitter, finally responded writing that Kutcher was “barking up the wrong tree” and implying that Kutcher never even read their story.
As of Friday (July 1) at 1 a.m., both Kutcher and the VV were still on the attack.
Thanks to Mashable, we can post this handy timeline of the back-and-forth: