Good thoughts from bad role models?

A member sent me a message in response to last night’s blog post with some concerns. She feels strongly that Ashton Kutcher is a very bad role model for teens and that, as such, being chosen for the Teen Choice Award and having his speech circulating on the internet is not a positive thing. She was likewise concerned about our church leadership appearing to promote him. I want to state without reservation that I agree with her entirely, and her concern is well founded. I don’t know much about Ashton Kutcher’s personal life, and I don’t really watch his shows. I’ve seen a few movies with him. I’ve caught a couple episodes of Punk’d and laughed. But I learned just today that he apparently recently had a fairly messy divorce with Demi Moore, and his track record before that is maybe not so hot either. So, I appreciate that my member chose to bring this up to me, and gave me a chance to address it.

To be clear, I did not intend to put Ashton Kutcher on a pedestal. If what I learned today about him is true, he is exactly the opposite of the kind of person I would point a young person to as an example to follow. His personal life aside, what he had to say was pretty good. However, good words from a bad role model need to be taken with some amount of caution.By the same token, a good role model does not always mean wise words.

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Wise Words from Ashton Kutcher

By now Ashton Kutcher’s speech at the Teen Choice Awards has made its rounds on the internet, so maybe you’ve seen it. If you haven’t, it is definitely worth watching. He says some pretty good things, and I’d like to comment on them. Here’s the full speech (not the edited one where they clip out some pretty important details):

First, if you don’t know who Ashton Kutcher is, then you might not understand why it’s a big deal that he is saying the things he’s saying. You can probably guess that, as it is the Teen Choice Awards, there are plenty of young people watching. But you might not know that Ashton Kutcher is not some new, fly-by-night, current TV or movie star who just rose up and will disappear in the next couple years. Kutcher has been around for quite a while. His first big movie appearance was The Butterfly Effect in 2004 (he was in some minor roles before that dating back to 1999), he has been in a few dozen movies and TV shows since, and has produced a number of shows, movies, and documentaries as well. He is the creator of the show Punk’d, where he pulls pranks on other big name celebrities and films their reactions. Most recently he has been on the TV show Two and a Half Men, and plays the role of Steve Jobs in the new biographical movie.

So, in short, the guy has reach and influence.

Kutcher made three basic statements in his short speech, and I want to comment on each one and say why I think it was a good statement.

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