On Thursday (7 September), That ‘70s Show star Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the rape of two women two decades ago. It was then revealed that Kutcher and Kunis, who starred alongside Masterson in the popular Fox sitcom, were among 50 people who wrote letters of support for the 47-year-old actor ahead of his sentencing.
42-year-old Schumer, meanwhile, was accused of cyberbullying Nicole Kidman, 56, after mocking how she was sitting at the US Open over the weekend.
“This how human sit,” the Trainwreck star wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the Australian actor at the event.
Reacting to the criticism she received for the caption on Monday (11 September), Schumer deleted the post then poked fun at Kunis and Kutcher’s controversy with a mock apology.
“I want to apologise to all the people I hurt posting a photo of Nicole Kidman and alluding to her being an alien,” she wrote on Instagram in another since-deleted post.
“I will be asking the cast of That ’70s Show to write letters advocating for my forgiveness #takingtimetoheal.”
In their letters of support, Kunis and Kutcher vouched for Masterson’s “exceptional character” and asked for Judge Charlaine Olmedo’s leniency ahead of his sentencing.
Kutcher, 45, called his co-star, whom he also starred alongside in Netflix sitcom The Ranch, a “role model” and “a person that is consistently there for you when you need him”.
In her letter, Kunis, 40, called Masterson “an amazing friend, confidant, and, above all, an outstanding older brother figure to me”.
After facing huge backlash, the couple, who married in 2015, shared a joint video statement on social media on Saturday.
“We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” Kutcher said in the clip.
Kunis added: “We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future.”
Kutcher explained that Masterson’s family had contacted his former co-stars about writing the character letters to “represent the person that we knew for 25 years”, with Kunis stating: “The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system, or the validity of the jury’s ruling.”
Shortly after the video was shared, Yellowjackets star Christina Ricci, 43, posted an Instagram Story that, while not mentioning Kutcher and Kunis by name, appeared to be a direct response to the letter controversy.
The Addams Family actor wrote: “So sometimes people we loved and admired do horrible things. They might not do these things to us and we only know who they were to us but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do the horrible things and to discredit the abused is a crime.
“People we know as ‘awesome guys’ can be predators and abusers. It’s tough to accept but we have to. If we say we support victims – women, children, men, boys – then we must be able to take this stance.”
The actor continued: “Unfortunately I’ve known lots of ‘awesome guys’ who were lovely to me but have been proven to be abusers privately. I’ve also had personal experience with this. Believe victims. It’s not easy to come forward. It’s not easy to get a conviction.”
Masterson had initially been accused of drugging and raping three women at his home between 2001 and 2003. Last week, he was convicted of raping two of the women in 2003, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the third allegation, which was brought forward by a former girlfriend.
In the wake of the Kutcher-Kunis letter controversy, a clip of Kutcher making a vulgar comment about an underage Hilary Duff in 2003 has resurfaced online.
Rape Crisis offers support for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. You can call them on 0808 802 9999 in England and Wales, 0808 801 0302 in Scotland, and 0800 0246 991 in Northern Ireland, or visit their website at www.rapecrisis.org.uk.
If you are in the US, you can call Rainn on 800-656-HOPE (4673)