Ashton Kutcher Takes on Village Voice over Sex Trafficking

By Eric Alt
|  Friday, Jul 1, 2011  |  Updated 10:38 AM PDT
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<a title=Ashton Kutcher, Anne Heche and Margarita Levieva hit the red carpet in Hollywood for the premiere of "Spread," where they chat about getting in shape for the movie and filming the steamy sex scenes." />

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Ashton Kutcher, Anne Heche and Margarita Levieva hit the red carpet in Hollywood for the premiere of "Spread," where they chat about getting in shape for the movie and filming the steamy sex scenes.

It's a war of words (or Tweets) between actor Ashton Kutcher and The Village Voice.

Following the publication of an article called "Real Men Get Their Facts Straight," in which reporters Martin Cizmar, Ellis Conklin, and Kristen Hinman take Kutcher and wife Demi Moore to task over alleged misinformation being spread through their "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" anti-sex trafficking campaign, a bitter back and forth erupted.

The campaign, launched last year, features a number of PSAs aimed at bringing to light the sex slave epidemic - starring celebrities such as Kutcher, Justin Timberlake, and Sean Penn doing humorously "manly" things like refusing to do laundry or ask for directions.

The Voice article had less of an issue with the odd tone of the PSAs (many have criticized Kutcher and Moore's attempts to tackle such a serious issue with flippant ads - the Voice says they "reek of frat boy humor") as it does with the facts and figures the celebrity couple have been throwing around.

In the article, Cizmar, Conklin, and Hinman claim that the "100,000 to 300,000 children fall into prostitution every year in America" soundbite is simply untrue, and is not based on any actual research.

"There are not 100,000 to 300,000 children in America turning to prostitution every year," they write. "The statistic was hatched without regard to science. It is a bogeyman."

Kutcher immediately took offense, hitting his influential Twitter page to lambast the Voice for both the article as well as the newspaper's association with Backpage.com, which offers ads for escort services.

"hey @villagevoice hows that lawsuit from the 15 year old victim who alleges you helped enslave them going?" Tweeted Kutcher, referring to a female prostitute who sued the Voice claiming that Backpage allowed her to be easily exploited. 

"hey @villagevoice speaking of data, maybe you can help me...How much $ did your "escorts" in your classifieds on backpage make last year?", he continued.

Kutcher then wrote: "I'm just getting started!!!!!!! BTW I only PLAYED stupid on TV."

The Voice responded with a link to the article online accompanied by the question "Hey Ashton, which part of this story is inaccurate?" 

And on and on...

Selected Reading: Ashton Kutcher's Twitter, Village Voice, MSNBC

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