Wednesday, June 19, 2013
In a fairly boneheaded PR move, Ashton Kutcher is catching more fire than a curry dish for his portrayal of a Bollywood-type producer in a series of online videos for PopChips. The series was a spoof on dating Web sites and featured a biker, hippie and an Indian guy named Raj, all portrayed by Kutcher himself. The problem arose when Kutcher donned brown makeup and prosthetics - not to mention a terrible Indian accent - to portray Raj. Many members of the Indian community and beyond are incensed, likening Kutcher's character to those that mimic African-Americans with blackface. Tech entrepreneur Anil Dash wrote in his blog, "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." The company yanked the ad quickly, and the CEO of PopChips issued the following statement: "We did not intend to offend anyone. I take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended."