The video: "Real men don't buy girls." That's the message of a new video initiative that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher launched Monday. The short videos take aim at the sexual exploitation of minors with an irreverent "Funny or Die" tone and feature famous faces like Sean Penn, Jamie Foxx, Eva Longoria, and Bradley Cooper. "We want to create a cultural shift in the way men and women view young people selling themselves for sex," Kutcher tells CNN. But with their cheeky humor and distracting celeb focus, the "Real Men" videos are not everyone's idea of the appropriate way to address child sex trafficking.
The reaction: These videos "feel awkwardly lighthearted," says Megan Angelo at Business Insider. The actual cause has a lot to compete with for the viewers' attention "between the bubbly music, cute antics and requisite hot actress." This is a fail, says Tracy Clark-Flory at Salon. "Basically, they turned an Old Spice commercial into an anti-sex-trafficking PSA." While the spots' socially conscious intentions are noble, they "don't communicate a new message, so much as cast anti-child-sex-trafficking as the hip new celebrity-endorsed cause." Watch a clip from the series: