Ashton Kutcher Looking For Love In 'Racist' Ad!
When Hollywood star and ex-husband of Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, donned brown make-up and sought love, while selling potato chips, he was not expecting to be called a ‘racist.’ Well, that is what he has been called and the criticism of his latest advertisement for Popchips is growing by every minute. The public backlash has even forced Popchips to take the video off air and issue a detailed apology for the ad. The only person still unruffled by all this is Kutcher himself. His silence over the ‘racism’ charges is quite surprising considering that a while ago, he couldn’t even go to toilet without tweeting his status update!
1) The ‘Racist’ Video
The video is a spoof on a dating service and it has Ashton playing four different characters, including a biker, a hippie, and a Bollywood producer. It is the bumbling producer part, which has invited a lot of heat, especially from the Asians in the US. All the four characters are seeking a lover and they have their own reasons and demands. Out of the four, it is 39-year-old Raj, the producer from Bollywood, with his brown make up, garish costume, and lewd gestures, that is the fly in the milk. As Raj, Kutcher makes a joke that he’s in search for a woman who is “Kardashian hot… I would give that dog a bone.” It is a different matter altogether that Kardashian has taken it all too sportingly, as she mentioned on her Twitter handle, “LOL @aplusk! Love this…” Quite surprisingly, there is no mention of the Popchips in any of the characters’ lines. What were they actually advertising?
2) Angry Anil Dash
Dash is a New York-based writer and entrepreneur, who was the first to raise voice against this ad on his blog dashes.com. In his long outburst on the blog, Dash wrote, “Don’t watch it (the ad); It’s a hackneyed, unfunny advertisement featuring Kutcher in brownface talking about his romantic options, with the entire punchline being that he’s doing it in a fake-Indian outfit and voice. That’s it, there’s seriously no other gag.” Dash has asked Popchips to apologize for the whole production even as he tries not to sound unreasonable, “I think the people behind this Popchips ad are not racist. I think they just made a racist ad, because they’re so steeped in our culture’s racism that they didn’t even realize they were doing it.”
3) The Apology
Popchips has responded to the criticism over racism charges by pulling out the video from its outdoor advertising campaign for the chips. CEO Keith Belling issued a public statement saying, “The new Popchips worldwide dating video and ad campaign featuring four characters was created to provoke a few laughs and was never intended to stereotype or offend anyone. At Popchips we embrace all types of shapes, flavors and colors, and appreciate all snackers, no matter their race or ethnicity. We hope people can enjoy this in the spirit it was intended.” He also said, “We are removing the individual Bollywood character from our out-of-home advertising campaign that launches May 7. We received a lot of feedback about the dating campaign parody we launched today and appreciate everyone who took the time to share their point of view.” Belling noted that his team “worked hard to create a lighthearted parody featuring a variety of characters that was meant to provide a few laughs.” He owned “full responsibility” for the incident.
It was not long ago that leading ice cream brand, Ben & Jerry’s had to apologize over their “Fortune Cookie” fiasco. It looks like it is Kutcher’s turn now. While a few voices from among the Indian-American community have appealed for a “sense of humor” in this whole episode, the ‘dating video’ has definitely left bad taste in the mouth that has nothing to do with the quality of the Popchips.
Video Courtesy: youtube.com