Ashton Kutcher in racism row after playing Bollywood producer

The 34-year-old actor appears as Raj,a '39-year-old Bollywood producer looking for love' in the advert for PopChips.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: May 3, 2012 3:23 pm

Ashton Kutcher,for whom the new year has hardly been good from a public relations standpoint,has now been surrounded by a racism storm after donning “brown face” makeup for a money-spinning appearance in a crisps commercial.

The 34-year-old actor appears as Raj,a “39-year-old Bollywood producer looking for love” in the advert for PopChips.

In the dating themed film he says he is looking for “the most delicious thing on the planet”,as well as indulging in appropriately cheesy Bollywood parodying dancing.

Of course he soon finds it in the form of the low-fat potato snack,but the fact the Hollywood star saw fit to dress up in stereotypical garb and put on an Indian accent has drawn the wrath of many on the internet,including Indian-descended rap group Das Racist.

“What’s with the racist brownface video you talentless,pretending to care about sex trafficking piece of s***,” the Daily Mail quoted them as tweeting.

They never received a response from the actor,who chose not to address the subject on his own page,where he had previously promoted the advert.

Blogger and entrepreneur Anil Dash also wrote a lengthy entry on his website about his disgust at the advert.

“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 said.

“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,” he said.

The Twitter website had a slew of traffic,with the already troubles ‘Two and A Half Men’ star taking a caning at the hands of users.

The spokesman at the company explained the ad was not meant to be offensive,though stopped short of offering an apology.

“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,” he said.

“At Popchips we embrace all types of shapes,flavours and colours,and appreciate all snackers,no matter their race or ethnicity.

“We hope people can enjoy this in the spirit it was intended,” he added.

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