The Word: Pop! Goes Kutcher’s new ad campaign

Kutcher as Raj, a brown-faced Bollywood producer.

Poor Popchips. They just wanted to get people to eat their unique snack food (aka: communion wafers with salt) but their recent ad campaign is spectacularly backfiring.

The face of the campaign, Ashton Kutcher, is currently facing criticism for his roles in the commercials, which many feel are racist, according to E! News. In the online video, Kutcher appears as numerous ridiculous characters, including Raj, a brown-faced Bollywood producer with a thick Indian accent. (Kutcher also appears as a character sending up Karl Lagerfeld that could be construed as homophobic.) Overwhelmingly negative responses to the advertisement prompted Popchips to remove it from YouTube and Facebook a day after it was released. “The new Popchips worldwide dating video and ad campaign featuring four characters was created to provoke a few laughs and was never intended to stereotype or offend anyone,” a company rep said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.

Here’s the thing someone should have told Popchips: Kutcher can’t act. At all. His version of “acting” is basically over-the-top parody — all the time. So when he gets tapped to portray someone of a different race, even in a comedic role, of course it will be seen as mockery/racism. The only actor who could tackle this without getting in trouble? Sir Ben Kingsley. Popchips, get that guy on the phone ASAP.

Amber Riley strikes back

Let’s hear it for “Glee” star Amber Riley. After a red carpet fainting spell earlier in the week, she’s on the (hilarious) defensive about her personal life — including whether or not she’s expecting. “Let me stop the rumor mill right now. I’m not pregnant. Yes, I’m black but I don’t have diabetes, I don’t starve myself to fit clothes; I buy clothes to fit me not vice versa,” Riley posted to Twitter in response to the rumors that sprouted up overnight after her episode. “I did get a great laugh this morning reading all the BS, though.”

See you on the baby flip side!

On a personal note, today is my last Word column for a while — I’m due to have baby on Saturday. Although I try to make this a lighthearted column, in all seriousness, please know it’s been a real honor to be a part of your lives for the past several years. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading The Word as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Interacting with my readers is the best part of this job and I’ve loved all of your e-mails, tweets and calls — even the nasty ones. So thank you for being such wonderful people and for making Metro part of your morning routine. See you in September!

Follow Dorothy Robinson on Twitter @DorothyatMetro while she is off. If you are nice, she may still trash celebrities for you in between changing diapers.


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