A couple of days ago INO posted a Popchips ad featuring Ashton Kutcher doing a Bollywood-themed dating service. Well, it turns out the Indian American community was not so crazy about the ad. Blogger Anil Dash wrote:
Naturally, a bunch of us (initially mostly Indian diaspora members whom I follow on Twitter) started complaining about it, and a number of like-minded allies also registered their offense as well. 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…
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.
Popchips has pulled the ad, and the CEO issued a statement saying:
“We did not intend to offend anyone. I take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended.”
Ashton himself has not made any public statement about this so far. The ad is still available via Youtube, so you can watch it above. What do you think of it?