Did Ashton Kutcher go too far in a hilarious dating commercial spoof? His portrayal of a Bollywood producer has sparked a backlash.
Kutcher, 34, and ad sponsor, Popchips, an independent snack food company based in San Francisco, are drawing fire from what critics are calling a “racist” portrayal of the ethnic Indian.
Kutcher wears a silk tunic, dark brown makeup, thick black hair and has a huge prosthetic nose.
The company claims the video was a play off the 34-year-old’s flailing love life, since his divorce from wife of seven years Demi Moore. Kutcher plays a series of characters in the spot, including himself.
While the characters are all supposed to be interviewing for the dating service, the real subject of the commercial are the popchips. Other characters include a swarthy bearded biker-type guy, Nigel, a British dweeb, a character the parodies designer Karl Lagerfeld, an alternative lifestyle dude and Raj, the Bollywood producer.
Kutcher also appears as himself.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
So far, no word from Kutcher, who is “president of pop culture” for the company. He has often portrayed himself as being socially conscious and has spoken out frequently about sex trafficking.
Check out the video below.