Ashton Kutcher's Panel Stormed by Protester Objecting to Airbnb in Palestine
By Jennifer Drysdale
Ashton Kutcher knows how to stay calm under pressure.
The 38-year-old actor found his panel interrupted at the Airbnb Open 2016: A Festival of Hosting event in Los Angeles on Saturday, when a woman stormed the stage to protest Airbnb's listings in Palestine.
Ariel Gold, a member of CODEPINK, a female-led grassroots organization supporting peace and human rights initiatives, took the stage to urge Kutcher to "use his power and influence" to pressure Airbnb to remove their listings in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Kutcher, who started investing in Airbnb in 2011, remained calm throughout the ordeal and took a moment to address Gold's protest.
"[A world] doesn't discriminate against one another," he said to the crowd. "We can get to know each other intimately and understand our collective narrative is a narrative for everyone, and that we all can belong in a world together without borders."
"I can appreciate that this doesn't happen seamlessly," he continued. "I can appreciate that this doesn't happen easily. I can appreciate that where there is change, there will be a fringe case that feels objectified, but this company is about bringing people together, and about loving one another."
"You're welcome to a world where we all belong," Kutcher said to overwhelming support from the audience. "And if you want to sit down and have a conversation about it, I'm happy to have that conversation with you."
Kutcher isn't the only one taking a stand against discrimination. In fact, his wife, Mila Kunis, recently took to Kutcher's website, A Plus, to publish an essay on gender equality.
"I'm done compromising; even more so, I'm done with being compromised. So from this point forward, when I am confronted with one of these comments, subtle or overt, I will address them head on; I will stop in the moment and do my best to educate," she wrote.
"If this is happening to me, it is happening more aggressively to women everywhere," she added.