By People Staff
Updated March 06, 2008 12:00 AM
Credit: Ron Galella/WireImage

What was the real deal with those recent photos showing Paris Hilton‘s very public meeting with a robed, bearded guru? Ask Ashton Kutcher.

According to USA Today, the stunt was part of the actor’s new, eight-episode E! series called Pop Fiction, which takes aim at gullible paparazzi and media outlets.

(In Hilton’s case, the so-called “guru” was actually Maxie Santillan Jr., an actor who has appeared on CSI and My Name Is Earl.)

“We live in a culture that’s driven by media and obsessed with celebrity,” Kutcher’s producing partner, Jason Goldberg, told the paper, adding that about 20 celebrities have signed on to the project. “Two going out to eat turns into, ‘They’re engaged.’ It’s a feeding fenzy.”

So what does Kutcher — who infamously played pranks on celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Beyonce Knowles for MTV’s Punk’d — hope to accomplish by tricking the media?

“We’re having fun,” Goldberg says of the project, which had been top-secret — until now. “But we want to say to , ‘Can you really believe everything you read and see?’ “

Ron Galella/WireImage