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Amidst complaints, Popchips CEO apologizes for 'brownface' Ashton Kutcher ad
Keith Belling, founder and CEO of PopChips, wrote in an apology that he takes full responsibility for the campaign.
May 3rd, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Amidst complaints, Popchips CEO apologizes for 'brownface' Ashton Kutcher ad

By Rachel Wells, CNN

(CNN) – Ashton Kutcher's participation in a Popchips video campaign has gone viral, alright, but because of complaints of racism.

The minute-and-a-half long video debuted Wednesday, and presents a string of "bachelors" who are part of a "world wide" dating service, with 34-year-old Kutcher portraying all of the eligible men, including Bollywood producer Raj.

Kutcher, wearing a wig, brown makeup and a mustache, tells viewers in what's likely intended to be an Indian accent that he's looking for "the most delicious thing on the planet."

That characterization has been criticized as racist, and tech entrepreneur Anil Dash has written a thorough account of where he thinks the ad got it wrong.

Dash calls the spot a "hackneyed, unfunny advertisement featuring Kutcher in brownface talking about his romantic options, with the entire punchline being he's doing it in a fake-Indian outfit and voice...I can't imagine I have to explain this to anyone in 2012, but if you find yourself putting on brown makeup on a white person in 2012 so they can do a bad 'funny' accent to sell potato chips, you are on the wrong course."

Read the full post on CNN's Marquee blog

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Filed under: Discrimination • Ethnicity • How we look • Pop culture
soundoff (One Response)
  1. AnthonyB1074

    It's nice to know that the United States is still number one in something. Humorlessness.

    May 5, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |