News

Updated: Ashton Kutcher dons “brown face,” succeeds in offending Indians, people with brains

Pin it

Oh, Popchips… your freshly popped (and never fried) healthy snacks have left such a bittersweet taste in my mouth. No, I'm not talking about your new chili-lime flavor. I'm talking about your new ad starring Ashton Kutcher, in which he plays a stereotypical Bollywood producer named Raj. The minute-and-a-half long commercial lays on the Kwik-E-Mart accent, has Kutcher twirling his mustache with a devious grin, and uses the phrase "It's the Bombay!"

Now, I'm a sucker for delicious puns, but "It's the Bombay" is the lowest-hanging fruit from that tree. Here's the thing about making broad generalizations about certain groups of people: be careful. Or, if you're not going to be careful, at least be funny.

If you're currently donning your "offended" hat, you'd better put that on hold and throw on your "offended and pandered-to" hat, as The New York Times reports that the campaign will continue popping up all over the web with Kutcher portraying three different characters, including: Darl (a diva), Nigel (a hippie), and Swordfish (a "sweet biker," whatever the hell that means). These worn-out personality tropes sound more like a Lou Pearlman wet dream than the hot social-media sensation they're trying to be.

Come on, food industry, can't you go like two months without offending an entire race of people? We're still reeling over Burger King's crispy chicken commercial featuring Mary J. Blige. At least her ad featured a person of the offended race doing the offending. AKutch (may I call you AKutch? Okay): you're young, pretty, and freshly single. Why don't you go act in an indie movie or go the Bill Murray route and turn yourself into an urban legend?

The video in all its glory:

Update: The ad has been pulled, and PopChips founder Keith Belling has apologized for offending people, though he failed to apologize to comedy in general. Sad face.