Branding Expert: Divorce ‘Will Definitely Alienate’ Ashton Kutcher’s Fanbase

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With Thursday’s big-but-not-so-shocking news that Demi Moore will be divorcing Ashton Kutcher following his alleged cheating scandal, there are lots of questions to be answered over the coming months. How will the two handle the split in the media? Will Ashton still be involved with Demi’s children? Also, what kind of impact will the divorce and recent allegations of infidelity have on Ashton’s successful career?

With his new role in Two and a Half Men, Ashton’s star power is likely as high as it’s ever been: Millions of people tune in each week to see him now that he’s replaced Charlie Sheen, a role that brought him back to the forefront of American television. So, will the divorce news make people turn against Ashton? Celebuzz spoke with branding expert Dan Schawbel about the news, and he thinks that Ashton’s actions — from the divorce to his recent controversial comments about Penn State — have hurt his celebrity status.

Shawbel told Celebuzz that Kutcher’s rumored infidelity will very likely make women less likely to watch him on TV or in movies.

“The female demographic will be turned away from him for sure. Will it affect his role on Two and a Half Men? I don’t think so. I think it will definitely alienate part of his audience. Cheating on his wife is actually a huge issue. It’s going to turn a lot of people off,” Schawbel said.

Aside from the infidelity rumors made by Sara Leal, Kutcher also recently made headlines when he tweeted support for Penn State coach Joe Paterno, which prompted an outrage on the social media service, causing him to stop tweeting altogether before handing over his account to his company Catalyst.

“Twitter is huge for him,” Schawbel told Celebuzz. “It helps market the show and it’s helped him get opportunities. By disconnecting from that and his family life, it hurts his brand … People like the fact he’s part of a family and he’s more likeable in that respect. It almost seems like he’s drifting from his audience.”

So, could this all mark the end of Kutcher’s strong career? Not so fast, according to Schawbel.

“He seems to be a smart guy, so I’d say it’s more of a short-term bump in the road than a long term thing.”