Snack brand Popchips has pulled part of an advertising campaign featuring actor Ashton Kutcher after complaints that Kutcher’s brown-faced portrayal of an Indian character was racist.
The campaign was meant as a parody of an online dating video in which Kutcher portrays several different “bachelors” looking for love. One character, Bollywood producer “Raj,” featured Kutcher in a wig, brown makeup and speaking in a sing-song affect. The spot — posted Wednesday — quickly prompted a backlash from Indian Americans, who directed their anger to the company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
In a message on the company’s website, Popchips founder and CEO Keith Belling said the intention was not to offend anyone with the ad.
“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,” Belling said.
The official clip solely featuring “Raj” has been pulled from YouTube but you can see another version below: