'This company is about bringing people together': Ashton Kutcher defends Airbnb after protester storms stage at LA panel event
He was one of the first investors in Airbnb.
So when a protester stormed the stage at the Airbnb Open 2016: A Festival of Hosting event in Los Angeles on Saturday, it was no surprise that Ashton Kutcher got up to address the intrusion.
The 38-year-old That 70s Show actor, who was dressed in a pink sweater and black trousers, confronted a protester who was holding a sign which read 'Airbnb out of settlements.'
Spot of bother: Ashton Kutcher's Airbnb panel was interrupted by a protester on Saturday
Hands on: When the woman stormed the stage at the Airbnb Open 2016: A Festival of Hosting event in Los Angeles Ashton made a speech defending the company
The protester appeared to be a member of the activist group CODEPINK, which is 'a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives,' as stated by theirwebsite. Their hashtag was written on the bottom of the protest poster, which was apparently referring to Airbnb's activity in Israel.
While the protester was theoretically there to oppose Ashton and Airbnb, it seemed the Hollywood vet was able to charm her with a handshake, which resulted in smiles all around.
After guiding the woman off the stage, Ashton, who was seated next to Airbnb founder Brian Chesky, began to rally the crowd and reiterate the importance of inclusion and acceptance.
'[A world] doesn't discriminate against one another. 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,' he said in a Twitter video captured attendee Danielle Thys.
Businessman: He was one of the first investors in Airbnb via his venture fund A-Grade Investments
No hard feelings? While the protester was theoretically there to oppose Ashton and Airbnb, it seemed the Hollywood vet was able to charm her with a handshake, which resulted in smiles all around
'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 continued.
The husband of Mila Kunis then tied his message back into Airbnb's mission, and turned to address founder Brian Chesky.
'I know this man, 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,' confirmed the Jobs star.
'The first thing that he does is try to look at the system holistically and change it to make it better.'
Professional: After guiding the woman off the stage, Ashton, who was seated next to Airbnb founder Brian Chesky, began to rally the crowd and reiterate the importance of inclusion and acceptance
Well-received: He received many loud accolades from the crowd, before he concluded with a final encouraging message
He then received many loud accolades from the crowd, before he concluded with a final encouraging message.
'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.'
While fans might be used to seeing him on the big screen, Ashton has been active in other sectors as well.
He started venture fund A-Grade Investments back in 2011 with two partners. The fund has since invested in such high profile companies as Spotify, Foursquare, Fab, Uber, Dwolla and Path.
Multitalented: Ashton has been very active in the venture capital world
New role: Fans might be used to seeing him on the big screen (pictured here in Steve Jobs biopic Jobs)
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