05/02/2012 04:07 EDT | Updated 07/02/2012 05:12 EDT

Ashton Kutcher PopChips Ad: Is The Actor's Brownface Ad Racist?


UPDATE: The ad featuring Ashton Kutcher in brownface has been pulled, with the video now being labeled "private" in YouTube. Anil Dash, one of the first people to raise concerns about the video, has written a blog post where he says he has spoken to Keith Belling, the founder of PopChips.

"I just got off the phone with Popchips founder Keith Belling, who was sincere and contrite as he offered a thoughtful, apologetic response that indicates he understood much of what I was trying to say here. I'm cautiously optimistic to see the company's response, and willing to give them time to do it properly," Dash wrote on his blog.


Actor Ashton Kutcher may have gotten himself in hot water because of an ad for PopChips. The comedian stars in a series of ads for the snack company that sees him dressing up as a biker, a stoner and other cultural stereotypes.

In one of the ads, Kutcher appears in brownface as Raj, a Bollywood producer, in search for "the most delicious thing on the planet."

The ad continues with Kutcher speaking in a thick 'Indian' accent and making jokes about Snooki and J-Woww of Jersey Shore.

The ad has unleashed a torrent of criticism online.

Rappers Das Racist sent out a series of tweets calling out Kutcher on his racism and telling people to call the company.

"Hey if you care, call popchips at 18662179327, hit 2 and register your concern, they got to pull this s*** and apologize, that's it," the group tweeted.

"The social media team at @popchips is gonna be sending out a series of copy & paste "we're sorry our ad offended" tweets in 2 hrs or so," tweeted Anil Dash, a well-known tech expert in New York.

"oh @popchips. delicious chips. racist ads," wrote Afrolicious on Twitter.

"Sweet, I love racism! Racism and PopChips go great together! Can you do a watermelon eating sambo next?," wrote YouTube user YouTD83 on the video site. The comment, the top comment on the page, had 34 likes on it shortly after 4:00 on Wednesday.

The PopChips twitter account has not responded to the backlash, the account has retweeted tweets from other celebrities pointing to the ads including Ryan Seacrest, Kim Kardashian and rapper P. Diddy.

Read a selection of the the reactions on twitter:

Ashton Kutcher Brownface Criticism