"There's an entitlement that is starting to emerge that I think is unhealthy for people and unhealthy for our country."
No, that line wasn't spoken by a politician. It was uttered by none other than actor Ashton Kutcher.
Kutcher sat down with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday to chat about the incredibly viral speech about hard work and dedication that he delivered at the Teen Choice Awards in August. And in explaining his past comments, he delivered a new set that could spread just as fast.
Actor Ashton Kutcher speaks onstage at the Teen Choice Awards 2013 at the Gibson Amphitheatre on August 11, 2013 in Universal City, California. Credit: Getty Images
DeGeneres praised Kutcher's bold statement to teens about perseverance and dreaming big, saying that it was "such an important speech" to deliver -- and one that she wholeheartedly agrees with.
Kutcher, who was given a lifetime achievement award of sorts at the event, told DeGeneres that he wanted to use his acceptance speech to drive home some very important points to the young audience. He explained:
"It was funny, I was going on the show to receive this like lifetime achievement for Teen Choice Awards and I thought it was kind of like, I don't know if I'll ever get a Teen Choice Award again. It just felt like an opportunity to be honest.
I think that so much of what we see in the world today is this sort of propaganda machine around fame and around celebrity -- and I actually think that there are some kids in the world that grow up today that think, 'When I grow up I want to be famous' instead of, 'When I grow up I want to do something, I want to build something, I want to create something."
Kutcher said he wanted to move away from the award show tradition of essentially "propagating the fame machine." So, rather than following the Hollywood blueprint, he went off-script in an effort to use his influence to do some good.
"I thought that it was a valuable moment to actually let them know that ... working hard and being thoughtful and generous and smart -- it's a path to a better life," Kutcher added.
The actor took particular aim at a number of societal phenomena, including a push for fame just for the sake of fame and an influx of people who are entitled and simply don't want to work hard.
Noting that some of his own friends don't want to work at Starbucks, because they believe it is beneath them, Kutcher said, "The only thing that can be below you is to not have a job."
Watch him explain his Teen Choice Awards speech in an interview that's almost as good as the original address:
As TheBlaze's Jason Howerton previously reported, Kutcher's original speech was incredibly inspirational.
“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work,” Kutcher told the audience earlier this year. “When I was 13, I had my first job with my dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job at a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground.”
He went on: “And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job, and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.”
Read more about the original address and watch the video below:
This story has been updated.
(H/T: Gossip Cop)