Ashton Kutcher became emotional at times during his powerful remarks to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.
The father of two spoke with passion and eloquence about the initiatives of Thorn, the Los Angeles consortium he co-founded to combat technology’s role in the trafficking and exploitation of children.
“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 of mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia,” he said, his voice shaking. “This child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play.”
Kutcher’s appearance before the panel was meant to raise awareness and potential government funding.
“This is a bipartisan effort in a county that is riddled with bipartisan separation on so many things,” he said.
Kutcher talked at length about the technological advances that can help thwart the rise of Internet content that facilitates the distribution of child porn and that leads to physical abuse. His comments were apolitical, and he saluted members of the body including U.S. Sens. John McCain and Bob Corker for their support.
“It is an honor to be here,” Kutcher said. “As a young man raised and brought up in the public school system, I pledged my allegiance to that flag every single day. Maybe one of the greatest honors of my life today is to be here and leverage the work that I’ve done in testimony that may in some way benefit this nation that I love.”
Here’s an excerpt, via C-SPAN: