Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ashton Kutcher sells chips and racism?

This new popchips ad starring Ashton Kutcher is causing quite the controversy, have you seen it? The internet is up in arms over his portrayal of "Raj," a 39-year-old Bollywood producer.

MSN published this article citing his "brownface" as racism. He also plays a German fashionista (clearly fashioned after Karl Lagerfeld), a red neck (complete with beard and bandana), and a British pot-smoking hippie.

Is it terrible I'm not offended by this ad? Does that make me a bad person? Crap.When I first watched it, I knew others would be and figured I would be too. In fact, I was waiting for it. The line that would cross the line and then I'd get to go on the defense and stop eating popchips forever (even though they're really good.)

I feel bad I'm not offended though, like my opinion makes me ignorant or a "bad" Indian (what does that even mean?) While I think the "brownface" was a bit much. The same exact comedic effect of "Raj" would have translated without the darker skin-toned Ashton and he didn't really need to be wearing those traditional Indian clothes but the ad was funny! It was funny people. The British guy was funny. The German fashionista who stops laughing because he's worried about wrinkles was funny. The company relseased this statement about the ad:

"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," the company said in a statement provided to TheWrap. "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."

And I agree. I think people should enjoy this in the spirit it was intended. So everyone- quit getting your panties in a bunch and just laugh at ad and eat some popchips.  *This was not a sponsored post.*

UPDATE: Thought Catalog posted a piece on this as well, "Ashton Kutcher Sparks A Global Conversation About Race, And How Maybe You Shouldn’t Paint Your Face Like That."

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