'I'm a crisis management expert. Here are the three things Ashton and Mila did wrong.'

Right now, actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are in hot water. But there might just be something – or rather someone – that can get them out of the PR crisis they're in.

And it's none other than Molly McPherson, who is an expert on crisis PR management. 

If you are someone who leans in when you hear a piece of juicy news out of Hollywood, then there's a chance you might have already come across McPherson's online analysis of celebrity drama.

Watch Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher's awkward 'apology' video. Post continues after video. 

Video via Instagram/Ashton Kutcher.

From picking apart Lizzo's public statement following a lawsuit that accused her of creating a hostile work environment, to breaking down the cancellation of Jonah Hill, this PR guru has... thoughts. Thoughts on every celeb crisis and how they could've handled it better.

And this week, she's all over what everyone on the internet is talking about at the moment: the awkward "non-apology" from That '70s Show actors Kunis and Kutcher.

Their co-star on the series was Danny Masterson, who a jury found guilty of raping of two women. The actor was sentenced last week to 30 years in prison and it's since been revealed that Kutcher and Kunis supplied written letters to the judge to defend his character prior to sentencing.


Following the backlash, the couple issued what McPherson called "not an apology" but an "explanation" in a now-viral TikTok that has raked in more than 1.4 million views.

In an initial video posted over the weekend, she said, "What we all witnessed was an explanation video. There was no acknowledgement whatsoever for what they did."

Watch the full clip here from Molly McPherson. Post continues after video. 

@mollybmcpherson Ashton & Mila “apology” explains a lot. #ashtonkutcher #milakunis #dannymasterson #apology #pr #fyp #crisiscommunication ♬ original sound - Molly McPherson | PR

What we did hear, however, was "that they wanted to address the pain everyone was in".

The crisis management expert pointed out their video was "too defensive" and suggested it lacked empathy. 

"Maybe it was just me, but when I heard about these letters, I wasn't feeling pain," she explained. "I was feeling like Ashton and Mila were destroying their careers all in an effort to protect a friend who was convicted [of rape]."

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher. Image: Instagram @aplusk.


McPherson also noted that the couple's "apology" video didn't explicitly "acknowledge their own responsibility or mistakes in [choosing to support] Masterson."

She continued, "No acknowledgement, vague apology, we heard Ashton say 'sorry' but it almost sounds like he's sorry that all of it happened to him and his buddy."

She also pointed out that while the clip did express support for victims, she felt they didn't "address the harm their actions may have caused to these victims".

The next day, McPherson followed up with a breakdown of what she would have done if she were the PR machine behind Kutcher and his wife, offering three very specific steps she would've taken to get the Hollywood heavyweights onto the road to redemption.

1. Set up a media interview. 

McPherson says she would go to a news broadcast program such as 60 Minutes, and only allow a heavy hitter journalist to speak with Kutcher and Kunis.

"For this interview, I would make it clear to both of them [to take] full accountability from here on out," she explained in her latest video. "[I'd say], 'You have to understand the gravity of the situation. People did not feel pain because you wrote those letters. They were appalled that you wrote those letters.'"


She continued, "[They] have to understand why people had a problem with why they wrote those letters."

McPherson added she would also have told Kunis to "sit this one out".

"I'd say, 'Thank you for your service. Just go over there, because Ashton has more to lose."

Why? Because Kutcher is a founder of Thorn, an organisation that protects and defends children from sexual abuse, she pointed out. 

2. Have Ashton step down from his Thorn.

"He's announcing that he's stepping aside from his role in the organisation," said McPherson of what her next step for the actor would be. "To protect the credibility of Thorn, Ashton is going to take a backseat so the organisation can focus on the mission.

"He can still support it but he can no longer be the face of that organisation. No way."

To "safeguard the mission of Thorn", McPherson would have Kutcher announce a "new face" of the organisation.

"I would find someone else. Someone who is relatable. Someone who people can connect with on that issue," she said. "Because it still shows his commitment to the organisation and the focus of the organisation, because you want to draw the focus away from Ashton and Mila."

3. Restore their image through learning and education.

The final step for getting the pair back onto the road of redemption, said the PR expert, would be for the pair to figure out "what you're going to do to deepen your engagement and understanding".

Because what better way to show you get it than to actually learn from your mistakes?


"This is where Ashton would announce what he and Mila are doing together to have a deeper understanding," she said. "Maybe now that he has a new awareness of the pain that he and Mila caused by writing those letters.

"... So can they come up with a program or new education – not something that competes with Thorn but something new, something that connects with younger people that just shows deeper engagement."

For her final act, McPherson said, she would have Kutcher and Kunis "go away" for a long time and only come back into the spotlight when it was to talk about their new passion.

McPherson would also remind the pair, right before their subtle return to the spotlight, that they have "lost" a lot of fans who are "never coming back".

However, that doesn't mean all hope is lost.

"[I'd tell them] 'That trust is gone. Your job now is to restore it and perhaps regain it with new people," she explained. 

"And then I would tell them: 'Don't ever blame people for leaving you for what both of you did. And don't ever, EVER, EVER utter the world 'Cancel' or 'Culture' in any sentence EVER. This is not Cancel Culture. You've cancelled yourself," McPherson continued.

"'Because in this culture, people want accountability. And you two didn't give it.'"

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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