Ashton Kutcher's Brownface Ad for PopChips Gets Yanked
PopChips announced that it was yanking an ad that featured Ashton Kutcher dressed up in brownface as a Bollywood star looking for love. Kutcher's portrayal of the
character stereotype Raj was criticized by the New York group Das Racist and blogger Anil Dash.
The ad was part of a campaign (developed in part by President of Pop Culture Kutcher) in which the actor played other (also obnoxious) characters who signed up for a dating site.
Keith Belling, the founder and Ceo of PopChips released a statement responding to the criticism:
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. 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.
I do believe your company did not have I’ll intent, but as I said, I hope you do take this as a lesson for your company as to how you can improve the flaws in culture that caused this to happen, rather than just a PR mistake to be corrected.