Earlier this week, an ad for something called PopChips was uploaded to YouTube. The ad featured “Two and a Half Men” star Ashton Kutcher doing a series of fake dating profile videos. Some of the “characters” he was doing included a biker, a Bollywood producer named Raj who he portrayed by doing a broad Indian stereotype and painting his face brown, and a white dude with dreadloWAIT WHAT ASHTON KUTCHER APPEARED IN BROWNFACE IN A COMMERCIAL FOR SNACKS? Holy moley.
There was an almost immediate public outcry over the video, mainly due to the fact that a dipsh-t white dude most notable for playing d-pshit white dudes on shows aimed at d-pshit white people painting his face and mocking another culture in an attempt to sell potato chips is about eight kinds of dumb and three kinds of racist. After initially standing by the ad, PopChips pulled the spot and issued an apology this morning.
My biggest issue with the whole thing isn’t that Kelso from “That ’70s Show” did a stupid accent and played up a dumb stereotype, it’s how many gatekeepers had to sign off on this before it saw the light of day. The always delightful Andrew Ti of Yo, Is This Racist? summed it up thusly:
Ok, for real, when you’re pitching, writing, and producing this, and you’re sitting in a room with Ashton Kutcher as he does his f-cking racist and incredibly wack impression, is there literally no one at any point in this process who is like, “hey dogg, this might be kind of racist.”
In summation, Ashton Kutcher is still a dingus and a bunch of people need to get fired.