Ashton Kutcher’s Popchips Ad Sparks Controversy, Pulled After Online Outcry
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Ashton Kutcher‘s Popchips ad campaign released earlier this week, where the actor wears brown makeup and plays a Bollywood character named “Raj” with a thick (and noticeably fake) accent, has been removed from the snack food company’s website and  Facebook page.

The $1.5 million campaign featured Popchips’ “president of pop culture” as four different kinds of guys seeking love: Nigel, the Brit; Swordfish, a tattooed biker; a fashionable character toting a pup, and “Raj.” Popchips is not mentioned at any point in 1:38 minute commercial.

Indian-Americans are taking offense to the recent ad, bashing both Kutcher and Popchips.

Co-founder of Activate Anil Dash took to his blog to comment on the commercial, calling it “a hackneyed, unfunny advertisement featuring Kutcher in brownface talking about his romantic options, with the entire punchline being that he’s doing it in a fake-Indian outfit and voice. That’s it, there’s seriously no other gag.”

Keith Belling, founder and CEO of Popchips, posted a message on the company’s website addressing the ad:

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.

Watch the video below:


Do you think Ashton Kutcher’s Popchips ad is offensive? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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Janel Martinez

With a focus on news and the under 35 crowd, Martinez develops engaging, daily reports for She also pens the blog, After School Daze: Life After Undergrad, where she delves into the day-to-day issues and concerns of recent graduates trying to adapt to life off campus. Prior to Black Enterprise, the Bronx, N.Y. native contributed to Latina,,, Syracuse Record and The Post-Standard. When she's not writing articles, the self-proclaimed travelista is on the prowl for her next excursion.   Martinez holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and sociology from Syracuse University.