Article Nov 27, 2016

You are no longer passing

Protester storms stage during Ashton Kutcher event

A woman protesting against letting agent Airbnb stormed the stage at an event hosted by Ashton Kutcher.

The 38-year-old actor, who has been investing in the company since 2011, remained calm when his panel was interrupted at the Airbnb Open 2016: A Festival of Hosting event in Los Angeles on Saturday (19Nov16).

Ariel Gold held a sign that said "Airbnb Out of Settlements", and urged Ashton to "use his power and influence" to pressure Airbnb to remove their listings in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, reports.

Ashton welcomed the protest by Ariel, who is a member of CODEPINK, an organisation supporting peace and human rights initiatives, and tried to defend the company.

"(A world) doesn't discriminate against one another," the Two and Half Men star told 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. 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," he added.

“And I know this man,” Ashton said of Airbnb founder Brian Chesky, who was sat alongside the star on stage. “I know his heart, I know his initiative, and I know that when a problem gets brought to his desk, that says that there is a discrimination or this is a displacement, that he cares. And that the first thing that he does is try to look at the system holistically and change it to make it better.”

Ashton's calm and measured reaction was applauded by the audience, who shared video of him making the impromptu speech on social media.

"You're welcome to a world where we all belong. And if you want to sit down and have a conversation about it, I'm happy to have that conversation with you," the father-of-one said.