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Is Ashton Kutcher Racist?

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Ashton Kutcher may have gotten himself in a big-big scandal because of an ad for PopChips. The catch is that he stars in a series of ads for the snack company that features him as a biker, a stoner and other cultural stereotypes. In one of the ads, Kutcher appears in brownface as Raj, a Bollywood producer, who’s looking for “the most delicious thing on the planet.” Moreover, Kutcher is speaking in a thick ‘Indian’ accent and making jokes about Snooki and J-Woww of Jersey Shore. The brownface and strong accent have unleashed tons of criticism online.

Ashton Kutcher’s brownface PopChips ad draws fire and is blamed for racism.

According to the New York Times, the campaign was developed by Kutcher, PopChips and an advertising agency named Zambesi, and cost an estimated $1.5 million. What? $ 1.5 million for that trashy ad? That’s beyond being ridiculous!

Here’s “no-offense-intended” apology from PopChips:

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.”

The ad featuring Ashton Kutcher in brownface has been pulled, with the video now being labeled “private” in YouTube.

Goodness gracious…People are so stupid and over sensitive…Its called comedy, people! But not everybody shares my opinion. For example, Anil Dash, one of the first people to raise concerns about the video, has written a blog post where he says he has spoken to Keith Belling, the founder of PopChips:

I just got off the phone with Popchips founder Keith Belling, who was sincere and contrite as he offered a thoughtful, apologetic response that indicates he understood much of what I was trying to say here. I’m cautiously optimistic to see the company’s response, and willing to give them time to do it properly.”

Indian-descended rap group Das Racist tweeted:

There’s nothing new about a white actor playing a Black or Asian person. Borat has been doing it for years, hasn’t he? Grow up and get a life, you sad people!

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May 3rd, 2012
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