Newspaper is questioning numbers cited in actor’s anti-prostitution campaign.
By Jocelyn Vena
Ashton Kutcher is engaged in a war of words with New York newspaper The Village Voice. The actor and the paper have been going after each other on Twitter in connection with PSAs that Kutcher and wife Demi Moore, made in order to shed light on underage prostitution.
The newspaper questioned statistics that the celebrity uses in his campaign in an article published this week called “Real Men Get Their Facts Straight” (a play on “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls,” the name of Kutcher’s campaign). The actor took to Twitter to respond, making reference to ads that appear in the paper’s classifieds section.
“Hey @villagevoice speaking of data, maybe you can help me … How much $ did your ‘escorts’ in your classifieds on backpage make last year? Hey @villagevoice speaking of Data … How many of your girls selling themselves in your classifieds are you doing age verification on?”
The article cites Kutcher’s statistic that between 100,000 and 300,000 children are involved with child prostitution, calling it a “statistic [that] was hatched without regard to science. It is a bogeyman.”
Kutcher fired back at those claims on his Twitter. “Hey @villagevoice if you want to dispute the online data I’ve collected about the consumption of child porn or the hard facts from [National Center for Missing and Exploited Children] lmk,” he wrote, later adding, “Hey @villagevoice REAL MEN DON’T BUY GIRLS and REAL NEWS PUBLICATIONS DON’T SELL THEM.”
Eventually the newspaper responded to Kutcher’s criticism of its analysis, firing back on Twitter. “@aplusk Don’t spout phony statistics which are then used to justify millions in spending for ‘awareness.’ Victims need beds and counseling,” read one tweet that appeared in between a sea of retweets from readers on the paper’s side and reminders to read the article. “Still sort of doubting that @aplusk actually read our story, but don’t make that same mistake!”
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