Famous Twitter user Ashton Kutcher is extremely upset at the Village Voice. The paper wrote a cover story making fun of him and bashing his anti-sex trafficking efforts. Now he will make sure no company advertises in the paper or on its site, ever.
There must be no digital entertainment conferences happening this week, because tech guru Ashton Kutcher has spent much of the last couple days locked in a fierce Twitter battle with the Voice over its article debunking the sex slavery panic he has done much to promote, with his incomprehensible "Real Men" ads. Of course, Village Voice Media makes tons of money from its Backpage.com classifieds site, which has itself been accused of facilitating the trafficking that the paper says is not a big deal.
There have been plenty of good jabs on both sides—Kutcher pointing out the 15-year-old who is suing Village Voice Media for allegedly allowing her to be trafficked on Backpage, the Village Voice tweeting a link to a story about Ashton and Demi chilling with "confessed pimp" Snoop Dogg.
But now, Ashton Kutcher has decided to get serious, resorting to the Twitter-favorite tactic of whining to advertisers when an outlet publishes something you don't like.
"Hey @AmericanAir," Kutcher tweeted, "are you aware that you are advertising on a site that supports the Sale of Human Beings (slavery)?"
Whatever poor social media person was running American Airlines' Twitter account must have had a heart attack over their Subway footlong, because they responded instantly with, "We will address this IMMEDIATELY. Can you please DM us detail of the site, including link?" It's going to be a let down when they learn it's just the Village Voice, not something like humanbeings4sale.com.
It's hard to take sides in this conflict. I'm inclined to support the Village Voice, because the article marshaled convincing evidence even if it was transparently self-interested, and running to advertisers over an article you don't like is some schoolyard bullshit. And since Ashton Kutcher has as many followers as a small country, he may actually succeed in killing off the Village Voice, which wouldn't be good for anyone.
Just shut up, and start your own newspaper dedicated solely to stomach-churning underaged sex slavery stories, Ashton Kutcher.
Updates: Wow, like Ashton Kutcher's Twitter freakout has convinced American Airlines to stop advertising with the Village Voice. Sex slavery problem: Solved.
[Photo of Kutcher via Getty]