Ashton Kutcher isn't the most likely person you'd expect to see in a C-Span Livestream, but there he was in the Senate addressing a roomful of our nation's politicians. I guess it's an image we should get used to, with more and more celebrities stepping up to the mic to talk about various national and international issues.
On February 15, Kutcher testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the second annual End Modern Slavery hearing. For those unaware, this issue has long been a passion of the 39-year-old actor; he is the co-founder of Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children.
In his speech, Kutcher spared no details of the atrocities he has seen while working with Thorn. "As part of my anti-trafficking work, I've met victims in Russia," he told the committee. "I've met victims in India. I've met victims that have been trafficked from Mexico. I've met victims in New York and New Jersey and all across our country. I've been on FBI raids where I've seen things that no person should ever see. I've seen video content of a child that's the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia. And this child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play."
The entire speech is extremely emotional and stirring, even bringing the actor nearly to tears at one point. As necessary as it is to have an open conversation about the atrocities that still exist in the world such as modern slavery, it does seem odd to have the star of That '70s Show up there alongside senators. But what is maybe the oddest aspect of the event is the exchange between Senator John McCain and Kutcher. After the speech, McCain thanked Kutcher and then told him, "Ashton, you were better-looking in the movies," to which Kutcher blew McCain a big ol' sarcastic kiss. McCain loved the moment so much that he included it in a summary tweet after the meeting.
Given the severity of the topic, this back-and-forth feels out of place, but Twitter can't get over the actor's candid response to the backhanded compliment.
Watch the whole opening below.