The makers of a trendy California snack food have apologized for their Internet advertisement featuring Ashton Kutcher in brownface as a goofy but lovelorn Bollywood film producer.
Popchips acknowledged “a lot of feedback” to its new ad campaign this week in which the “Two and a Half Men” star and soon-to-be divorcee plays five different bachelors in a spoof dating-service commercial.
One’s a hippy. Another a biker. The third a fashion designer called Darl who looks like Karl Lagerfeld, and a fourth is Kutcher himself. But it was the Hollywood actor playing “Raj” that triggered online outrage.
“Don’t watch it; It’s a hackneyed, unfunny advertisement featuring Kutcher in brownface … with the entire punchline being that he’s doing it in a fake-Indian outfit and voice,” New York tech consultant Anil Dash blogged.
On Twitter, the rap group Das Racist asked Kutcher, who is in the midst of a divorce from fellow thespian Demi Moore: “Hey @aplusk, what’s with the racist brownface video?”
On his corporate blog, Popchips founder Keith Belling responded: “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.”
Popchips pulled an 88-second video of “Raj” from its YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/popchipsfans) — but kept a compilation in which Kutcher affects a Hindi accent, scratches his foot and declares he’s “looking for the most delicious thing on the planet … like Kardashian hot.” See the video here.
Designer and model Heming-Willis, 33, gave birth to Mabel Ray Willis on Sunday in Los Angeles, said the spokesman, adding that both parents “are overjoyed about the newest member of their family.
“Both mother and baby are healthy and doing beautifully,” he added. The baby weighed in at a healthy 9 lbs., 1 oz.
Willis, who married the designer and model three years ago, already has three daughters — Rumer, 23, 20-year-old Scout, and Tallulah Belle, 17 — from his first marriage to Demi Moore, which ended in 2000.
The “Die Hard” star tied the knot with Heming in March 2009, in a Caribbean island ceremony attended by Moore and their three daughters. Her new husband, actor Ashton Kutcher whom she wed in 2005, also attended.
Kutcher and Moore announced their separation in November.