Remember that commercial we were talking about yesterday starring Ashton Kutcher as various different characters looking for love through a dating service? Well, what started out as a silly, lighthearted ad has turned into a PR nightmare for the company who produced it.
The ad, which first appeared to be for a dating service, was actually for Popchips. It's unclear why Popchips thought it would be a good idea to pretend their commercial was for a dating service, but it seems "funny" won out over logic. The only problem? Not everyone thought it was funny.
In the commerical, Ashton plays Raj, an Indian Bollywoodproducer who has a thing for KimKardashian; Darl, a flamboyant, fashion-obsessed elitist(essentially Karl Lagerfeld); Nigel, a British stoneryogi; and Swordfish, a tattooed redneck who has a soft spot for poetry. It's the Raj character that has been receiving the brunt of the negative attention -- according to People, the ad is being called "racist" and "offensive" and has already been taken down off the Popchips website and many other online sources.
Among the people crying foul is tech entrepreneur Anil Dash. "I can't imagine I have to explain this to anyone in2012," he wrote on his website, "but if you find yourself putting brown makeup on a white person in 2012so they can do a bad 'funny' accent in order to sell potato chips, you are onthe wrong course."
Keith Belling, founder and CEO of Popchips, replied, "We received a lot feedbackabout the dating campaign parody we launched today and appreciate everyone whotook the time to share their point of view. Our team worked hard to create alight-hearted parody featuring a variety of characters that was meant toprovide a few laughs. We did not intend to offend anyone. I take fullresponsibility and apologize to anyone we offended."
Different versions of the commercial, featuring the other characters, are still airing. Ashton has yet to respond to the controversy.
Do you agree that the Popchips commercial was inappropriate?
Photo courtesy of Fame Pictures