Ashton Kutcher defends his questions on gender equality at work

Actor and activist Ashton Kutcher will host a “live open dialogue” about gender equality in the workplace Monday morning via Facebook Live — but not before ruffling a few feathers.

“The Ranch” star, 39, was forced to defend himself after a series of questions he posted on the topic sparked social media backlash.

Kutcher announced Wednesday on his LinkedIn page that he and Effie Epstein, his partner at Sound Ventures, the venture capital firm he co-founded in 2015, will host the open conversation as a means of identifying problems and finding solutions for gender equality at work, and in particular, the tech industry.

To launch the flow of conversation, Kutcher posed some potential questions, such as “Where does the line between work life and social life stop and start?”

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But several of his suggestions, like “What are the rules for dating in the work place? Flirting?” and “How do we create channels to promote female entrepreneurship?” drew the ire of critics who found them tone-deaf.

“This is pretty offensive to me — I’m not easily offended,” one LinkedIn user wrote in the comments. “The premise some of these questions are based on seem to be coming from someone with a superiority complex.”

Wrote another, “If we have to ask these questions, that means there are bigger problems than we all realized to begin with. These questions should not have been nor will be asked in business.”

The father of two was quick to make amends for his well-intended questions on Twitter.

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“Thank you everyone for the feedback on the questions I posted on LinkedIn. Good and bad. Already a learning experience,” he wrote. “I’ve already offended some folks by asking the wrong questions. I’m certain giving the sensitivity of the topic I will say other things wrong.”

In addition to his acting career, Kutcher has recently taken on the role of activist as well, and in February testified at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on human trafficking. He co-founded an organization to help fight human trafficking with ex-wife Demi Moore.

Kutcher’s open dialogue will live-stream on his Facebook page Monday morning.

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