Ashton Kutcher Ad Pulled After Racist Allegations
A recent ad for Popchips was pulled this morning after it was attacked for being racist. The mock dating video featured Ashton Kutcher in brownface as Raj, a Bollywood producer with a heavy Indian accent, just trying to find love through the World Wide Lovers dating service.
The video received a barrage of criticism, most notably from tech entrepreneur, Anil Dash, who wrote on his blog: ”I can’t imagine I have to explain this to anyone in 2012, but if you find yourself putting brown makeup on a white person in 2012 so they can do a bad “funny” accent in order to sell potato chips, you are on the wrong course. Make some different decisions.” He then included advice for how “We Can Do Better” and how Popchips should proceed.
Rap group Das Racist also pointed fingers at the chip company:
— DAS RACIST (@dasracist) May 2, 2012
Meanwhile, some of Ashton’s celeb friends lauded the new campaign of collective videos via Twitter:
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) May 2, 2012
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) May 2, 2012
Popchips founder and CEO, Keith Belling, took to the company website to apologize after the allegations. “We received a lot feedback about the dating campaign parody we launched today and appreciate everyone who took the time to share their point of view,” he wrote. “Our team worked hard to create a light-hearted parody featuring a variety of characters that was meant to provide a few laughs. We did not intend to offend anyone. I take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended.”
Kutcher has yet to respond or comment on Twitter.
The video in question, which was released as a part of an online campaign, was taken down from the Popchips YouTube page, but BuzzFeed has the whole thing posted and clips of it can be seen in ENTV’s coverage here:
And Popchips is still holding strong with Ashton’s remaining lovelorn caricatures, specifically, a dreadlocked Brit named Nigel, a a tough guy name Swordfish, and Darl, who can only be described as a Karl Lagerfeld spoof.