UPDATE: It seemed like only a matter of time before Popchips pulled its ad starring Ashton Kutcher as a stereotypical Bollywood producer named Raj (complete with brown-face makeup and a bad accent).
After sweeping public outcry over what many said was a racist depiction, the company promptly removed the ad from its YouTube channel and issued this response from Popchips CEO Keith Belling on its blog:
We received a lot feedback about the dating campaign parody we launched today and appreciate everyone who took the time to share their point of view.
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.
The original ad has been removed from YouTube, but you can seen still see it posted on a different account below.
Metro's original story is below:
The Twittersphere is blowing up over a video posted on YouTube starring some delicious, all-natural snacks, some questionable elements... and Ashton Kutcher.
In a marketing plot gone awry, Kutcher appears in a series of "dating" videos, during which he adopts different characters, rambles on in stereotypical accents, and then casually mentions Popchips — the product behind the videos.
The video that has stirred up the most controversy is one where Kutcher channels a character named Raj, a Bollywood producer looking for someone to "love him in all the wrong places."
Kutcher wears brown-face makeup and speaks with a stereotypical, not to mention poorly delivered, Indian accent. The videos are meant to be light-hearted and funny, but it's impossible to imagine that the creators and Kutcher didn't see the backlash coming.
"I AM NOT AMUSED ASHTON KUTCHER (@aplusk). RACISM TO SELL POP CHIPS???," one person tweeted in response to the video.
"OMG is this really Ashton Kuchner in brownface as a South Asian man for Pop Chips on YouTube?," another tweeter said.
It will be interesting to see when or how popchips, a fairly new company, addresses the controversy. Take a look at the video and tell us what you think.