It wouldn’t be a good Monday unless we had some red hot Internet controversy to get the week rolling just right. David Duchovny, star of such favorites as The X-Files and Californication, recently offered his star power to a Russian beer company for the above ad, which features the actor pondering his possible Russian heritage and how his career might have turned out if he’d been raised over there. The ad is interesting because Duchovny Tweeted back in April that he recently discovered that his family was Ukrainian, adding, “Never too late to change,” so with everything that is going on between Russia and Ukraine, especially including the downed Malaysian airliner, people are wondering what Duchovny was thinking when he signed on to do this.
According to Raw Story, state-run Russian media outlets are pissed off that Duchovny, a self-proclaimed Ukrainian, would show up in an ad “with a huge budget about pride in the Russian motherland.” Meanwhile, Global Post pointed out the general confusion of Duchovny’s involvement because, well, his heritage is a little fuzzy.
It’s particularly interesting because it’s not clear whether Duchovny considers himself Russian or Ukrainian. He’s Scottish on his mother’s side. Some biographies online say he’s descended from “Russian Jews” on his father’s side. His grandmother, Julia, immigrated to the United States from Poland. His grandfather, Moshe, immigrated from Ukraine in 1918. In a 2013 interview, Duchovny said his grandfather was from Ukraine but likely spoke “Russian and Yiddish.” (Via Global Post)
And then there are the real critics – the YouTube commenters. While a lot of the responses to the video are written in Russian, a handful of them made it through the trusty Google translator, and let’s see if we can’t get a feel for what the kids in the cat tubes think about all of this.
In conclusion, it’s a beer ad. Freaking out over it won’t save the world.