Apparently the potato chip company, Popchip thought it would be hilarious to do a funny ad that would influence the people in a light laughter. Their campaign statement was something like :
“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.”
They were right on the part of influencing. But not on the light laughter.
The Popchip ad had 4 characters all played by Ashton Kutcher. A white, dreadlock Brit named Nigel, a bearded rough man named Swordfish, a look-alike of Karl Lagerfeld named Darl and a bollywood producer named Raj.
Did you know Ashton Kutcher has a twin brother? Check out on : Who Knew These Celebs Have Had Twins
All the 4 characters of the ad were intensely stereotyped with one having piercing, one with tattoos and one with strange behavior.
Looks like Popchips’ ad agency, Zambezi crossed the thin line with $ 1.5 million ad campaign.
As soon as the Popchip ad got aired, it created a rapid fire among the social media users over the character of Raj as racist. The fire spread out so much that the commercial was pulled off.What caught the eyes of the social media users was the character of Raj.
The joke went a bit too far with the fake nose, dark skin, a stereotype accent and rubbish dance moves and behavior (the feet scratching part? Yeah that was worse.)
Today morning, The video was removed from the Popchips Youtube Channel in India while the character was yanked from the company’s FB page.
People are waiting for Ashton Kutcher’s statement but we think Ashton is just a hired actor who played the part he was given. The ad agency and the potato chip company are to be blamed for it. Nevertheless, Ashton Kutcher To Play Apple Founder Steve Jobs In Upcoming Biopic is already a known news and he seriously needs to say something on this to clear his part.
New York City tech entrepreneur Anil Dash expressed,
“Don’t watch it; 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 wrote on 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.”
Many people are in favor of the ad and say that the commercial should be watched with pure humor at which this ad was directed and nothing other than that but majority still considers it as extremely tasteless.
Upon such rage among users and an ad considered as racist, the issue can never be ignored. The company remained silent at first but later apologized, saying,
“Our team worked hard to create a light-hearted parody featuring a variety of characters that was meant to provide a few laughs. We did not intend to offend anyone. I take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended.”
Do you think the advertisement was racist? Let us know your comments.