First of all, let me clear up any confusion by stating publicly for the record that I am AGAINST child slavery. There, I said it. HATE IT UP, HATERS. I’m probably one of the bravest Americans there is because of my strong opinions! Anyway, I do hate child slavery. That wasn’t a joke. It’s gross! And terrible! Apparently, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore also hate child slavery, so they have started a foundation and put together a series of anti-child slavery PSAs with some of their celebrity friends. Good! Enough with this child slavery! There is only one problem. Their ads are completely bonkers? From Salon:

Instead of making a rational argument against buying underage girls for sex, they went for “that offbeat feel of Funny or Die,” as Kutcher put it, and ironically challenged viewers’ masculinity. Basically, they turned an Old Spice commercial into an anti-sex-trafficking PSA. In fact, Isaiah Mustafa himself is in one of the spots — shirtless, per the usual. There are also appearances from Bradley Cooper, Drake, Jamie Foxx, Jason Mraz, Sean Penn and Justin Timberlake. As though the campaign didn’t already scream “desperate to go viral,” if you “like” the campaign’s Facebook page, it will generate a custom spot featuring your profile photo and Moore purring your first name (assuming your parents didn’t give you a weird one).

Oh good grief. Look, you can’t criticize them too much because at the end of the day they are trying in their very weird (you’ll see) way to make the world a better place. But you can criticize them a little bit. For example, here’s a criticism: I’m pretty sure that anyone who is interested in buying a CHILD SEX SLAVE isn’t going to be particularly swayed by AN IRONICALLY CLEVER ADVERTISEMENT FEATURING JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE THAT PLAYS ON MODERN CONCEPTS OF MASCULINITY. Pretty sure that is not how we move the needle on the whole “fucking kids in dank Queens basements” thing.

You guys, look at these videos:

Like I said, FAIR ENOUGH. These guys all postponed their brunches at the Caviar Omelet House for an extra 45-minutes in order to do their part to rid the world of…child slavery…by making ads that seem like they are for some kind of body spray. Phew. Boy, am I glad there’s no more child slavery now. Thanks, guys!

Comments (86)
  1. Real men make genuine PSAs against child slavery.

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  2. I’m guessing a few of these Real Men did these spots to appease guilty consciences.

  3. “Real men don’t buy girls” – Donald Trump HA HA REALLY!!!???

  4. I also like that Ashton’s dad Bruce Willis is a “Real Man.”

  5. That’s it, I have seen the light and will no longer partake in the carnal delights of the child sex-trafficking trade. Thank you Hollywood for setting me straight.

    Seriously is this one of those things that a PSA can really help? I mean I don’t think think anyone is on the fence on the issue.

    • Yeah, it’s like when everyone changes their profile picture on Facebook to rise against child abuse.

      Child abuse is obviously terrible. But watching celebrities iron clothes (ok, if I wasn’t at work, I would be watching the video of Sean Penn ironing because lol) is not going to stop child slavery and neither is “liking” a campaign on Facebook.

      Or maybe I am severely underestimating clever videos and social media.

    • But, but, but Awareness! Awareeenessss!!!!

    • I will still partake in the Caramel deLites of the child cookie-trafficking trade

    • I haven’t been able to watch the videos yet, because, work. (Seriously, my boss is like, “if you watch one more Ashton-Kutcher-related ironic PSA, you’re fired!” It’s like a Dilbert cartoon up in here.)

      However, it seems likely to me that these ads aren’t really for people who might engage in child slavery. Because those people are lost causes and should probably be chemically castrated in a public forum of some sort? I would think the idea would be to get other people interested in becoming more informed and outspoken about it. Now, why that has to be done in the form of an ironic PSA is anyone’s guess. But if it actually works, then great, ends justify means 110%. But the idea of “making a rational argument against buying underage girls for sex” seems even sillier to me than this. Who needs to hear that rational argument? Are any of you like “Hey, I have no interest in buying children, but I’m not, like, AGAINST it.” No. You are all “Ew. ew ew ew ew ew.” The rational argument train has left the station on this one, and we all got on it and are playing baccarat in the club car. This kind of thing is just to remind people that this kind of thing still goes on, a lot.

      (That said, if I get home and watch these videos and it is Drake trying to convince pedophiles to just chill it out with the predatory behavior, I will drown myself in my sink.)

      • YES! I love all of this comment. Not enough upvotes.

        And I can’t believe how strict my bosses are about watching Ashton-Kutcher-related ironic PSAs at work! Bosses, amirite?

      • Okay, to be less lazy than just mocking how terrible “awareness” is, but to still be lazy, I’ll just ask you to take a minute to find out how many groups, professional groups, are already actually doing real work to stop child slavery, and think about how much they could use money and publicity and then think how absurdly self-indulgent this project is.

        • Holy crap. I finally was able to watch these and yes, you’re right.

          Also, can I take a minute to point out they couldn’t get actual pictures of Bruce Willis or Harrison Ford and are instead using promotional stills from 20+ years ago? It’s that hard to get Bruce to snap a more recent photo?

          Also, the website they list is demiandashton.org? They couldn’t take enough time out of their incredibly self-absorbed but maybe a lil selfless PSAs to stop self-promoting themselves?! WTF?

          Gwyneth Paltrow might be the worst but at least she didn’t make these.

  6. I have so many questions and issues with this, I cannot even begin to formulate them into words. Instead, enjoy this picture of a baby deer!

  7. Someone at work just complimented me on how crisp my shirt looked and I said “Yeah, it’s because I don’t buy underaged hookers.”

    Unrelated: How do I file for unemployment?

  8. I still haven’t bought Girls, but from what I heard, it just didn’t sound very good. Not sure what that means about my masculinity.

  9. This kind of seems like a joke. Like an ad agency came up with an idea of what the opposite of a perfect ad campaign would be and then released it on accident. Slavery is serious! This seems like the kind of thing that calls more for the Sarah McLaughlin/Willie Nelson approach than the SNL Digital Short approach. Not to mention maybe a greater call to action than simply liking something on facebook. I just feel kind of slimy now after watching those, though it does make me kind of want to look up and support some actual for-real anti-slavery organizations, so maybe it is effective.

  10. If they had really wanted to appeal to the child slavers, they should have hit them where it hurt.

    “Real Men don’t wear silk kimonos”

    “Real Men have windows on their vans”

  11. Child Slave: “Wait! Let me show you this hilarious video featuring Jason Mraz!”

    Creepy Man: “I would prefer to just rape you.”

    Child Slave: “Well, shit.”

    • I honestly don’t understand why they’re aiming this campaign at the people buying child sex slaves! If you’re buying child sex slaves you obviously don’t give a FUCK what anybody thinks about you. I think this might be the first PSA I’ve ever seen (for something other than, like, smoking) that’s targeted at the offending demographic.

  12. SCENE:

    Justin Timberlake purchasing a small boy from a shady dealer in an alley. Cut to Justin buying handcuffs and a tiny french maid outfit. Cut to Justin sitting, watching TV. One of Ashotn’s PSAs come on. Cut to Justin returning to the back alley child dealer.

    JUSTIN: What’s your return policy? I’m bringing sexy back!

    SCENE

  13. Apparently all that the Unreal Man needs to teach him how to be a real man is a weird PSA campaign?

    I like how Eva adds sexiness at the end in the hopes that creeps will stop with the kiddie fiddling because it’ll please her…???? Or something.

  14. real men don’t ever get manicures WHICH ALL OF THESE MEN HAVE DEFINITELY DONE

  15. maybe they should all get together and make a super team to stop sex trafficking
    “taken 2: the expendables”

  16. Am I missing something with the portrait scene at the end of each video, in most of them the featured actor seems to be a random celebrity.

  17. Also: SECOND PSA OF THE DAY: http://cuteroulette.com

  18. I think I speak for everyone watching these when I say: “Uh, huh.”

  19. Also Also: “Let’s put Ashton Kutcher in charge of a serious ad campaign” – Everyone

  20. This seems a little late. I am pretty sure we all changed our opinions on child slavery after we saw Temple of Doom.

  21. As they were going along, I was like, “Ok. I get it. You’re being funny to get people’s attention and then you’ll flash to a very important website where people can get some follow-up information about donating or whatever.” I was right: Demiandashton.org. Pretty much screams “legitimate.”

    • While your point isn’t invalid, their site isn’t all nonsense… This ad campaign is certainly peculiar for all the reasons already mentioned, but there’s nothing wrong with bringing attention to human trafficking.

      • I’m sure it’s not all nonsense. The name of the site: all nonsense. And I agree–it’s obvious that their funny tactic brought a lot of attention to the issue, which is good. But I still kind of hate Demi and Ashton (dot org).

  22. Ashton Kutcher would have done something a little more serious in tone, but he’s really gunning for the record for “most time being famous without doing a single memorable thing”.

  23. I had that kind of fuzzy, unhappy moment when I woke up this morning that means you had a really terrifying dream that you can’t quite remember. When I looked at the top of this post, I instantly realized that I dreamt Justin Timberlake had tried to sexually assault and kill me. So rather than educating me about child slavery, his video actually made me feel like the victim of a sex crime. (Sorry guys. It’s a weird day).

  24. I just watched all of those and wish I hadn’t. Don’t have a joke. Just being real.

    • I have the same feeling, CoD. Join me on the bench of regret. We can sit in melancholy silence, fondly remembering ourselves as we were half an hour ago. On the plus side, coffee and cookies will be provided.

      • I was going to throw things at you both and mock you since I only watched one and a half, but then I saw milk and cookies were offered and I am reconsidering my plans.

        • Ahem – coffee and cookies will be provided.
          Milk and cookies are a little too child slavery-ish.

          (I want to make a joke about using milk and cookies to attract children into your windowless van, but jokes will exclude me from the coffee and cookies. Also, someone could totally use that ruse to steal Santa, and then I will never get a puppy).

  25. I just wanted to point out that the attire most of these men wear as well as those socks in that last video that seem so expendable were most probably made by child slaves in China. Maybe not girls, but definitely children.

  26. Wow, I laughed AND I learned something! Neat! (Actually I didn’t laugh and I already knew slavery in any form is bad. Fucking DUH!!)

  27. Did they vet all of these actors? I really find it hard to believe that none of them have ever bought a hooker. At the very least they have invited desperate women into their VIP section to trade champagne and publicity for sex.

  28. And there you have it: the real story behind the meaning of “2 and a Half Men.”

  29. Because nothing screams masculinity like Jason Mraz.

  30. Oh great, since justin timberlake is against child slavery, I guess i have to retire. I don’t see what’s wrong with it really, my whole house is a rape house and I still shave everyday, so there’s that….. And since the PSA is on youtube now with ahston kutcher and not on punk’d

    Guess i’m moving to Africa to start over again……. Anyone want a child? 3 for sale ASAP.

  31. Something about tongue-in-cheek PSAs about sexual violence makes me kind of queasy.

  32. They should get Silvio Berlusconi to make one of these. He’s pretty much the manliest guy there is! #currentaffairsgum

  33. The tone here seems to liken the choice of whether to buy a child sex slave to the choice of whether to buy car insurance.

  34. In fact, my queasiness is so profound, that it is preventing me from crafting proper sentences.

    Look, I’ve got a million things to say about this, but lack the rhetorical skills to actually do my ideas justice.

    What I’m essentially trying to get at is that sexual violence and rape culture is born out of misconceived ideas of masculinity, and telling sexual predators to “man up and be real men” only feeds in to this.

    Sexual violence and exploitation doesn’t exactly lend itself to tongue-in-cheek viral videos. I understand that the campaign is trying to raise awareness about the issue, but by pulling punches and dancing around the subject, it undermines the seriousness of the topic at hand.

    Finally, the whole culture of Facebook activism is little more than a way for people to feel good about themselves for “raising awareness.” If you really care about an issue, you’ll get off your ass and do something about it.

    *steps down from soapbox. runs away*

  35. I’m still trying to comprehend how self-congratualtory these ads are–apparently all it takes to me a real man, to achieve greatness, respectability, honor, is to not have child sex slaves; I mean, it doesn’t even say anything about adult sex slaves. I’m sort of imagining that once they finished filming these, they all high-fived and drove off to some skeezy Hollywood den of prostitution (except for Isaiah Mustafa, he went home).

  36. Wait, so were all of those men Ashton Kutcher?

  37. Real men don’t fuck his friends wife too, asshole! Get killed!!

  38. If I don’t shave with a chainsaw then I must be a child rapist.

  39. So how much does it cost to be the random celeb called out by the hot girl at the end? Is it extra if you, like Pete Cashmore, are a tech blog publisher and not actually a celeb? Is there some sort of certification process? In a pinch, could I use it as legal evidence in my defense?

  40. Why doesn’t society, politicians, or celebrities ever talk about child molestation and various forms of abuse, which is what breeds people who go on to molest/abuse children themselves? Why aren’t there PSAs about seeking much-needed mental health? We’re always cherry picking victimizers and never go after the “nests” where all this terrible stuff starts. I appreciate what they’re trying to do with this, but anyone who knows anything about psychology and why crimes like child sex slavery happens should know that saying “hey, real men don’t BUY girls” isn’t going to do anything, behaviors like that aren’t controlled by a simple on/off switch. No psychological behavior is.

    I want to see a “Get Some Damn Therapy, You Really Need It” PSA.

  41. “Real mean drug the girls first.” – Roman Polanski

  42. i’m a little late to the comment party – but this must be said. these ads do not make sense. that is, they’re supposed to show what “real men” do – shave, make their own meal and do their own laundry, for example. but none of the men in the ads are doing those things properly. i mean – bradley cooper puts milk in the box of cereal and eats it with a serving spoon – that is not the proper way to eat breakfast. like maybe bobby flay should have whipped up a delish grilled salmon with mango corn salsa and a warm lentil salad with goat cheese to show how a real man cooks a meal. and ashton just throws his socks away instead of actually washing them – that is not the proper way to get clothing clean. like get the maytag man in there. my point being – if you are going to make a psa about something as real, scary and disturbing as child slavery and human trafficking, perhaps the ads should at least make sense.

  43. I do not condone Justin Timberlake’s usage of that chainsaw.

    Also, why was Jessica Biel at the end of Sean Penn’s, when all the others were with Eva Longoria? Was Eva on a lunch break or something?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.