A recent $1.5 million advertising campaign by Popchips featured Ashton Kutcher playing a number of quirky characters including an Indian gentleman named Raj. The character was played in brownface with a fake Indian outfit and accent. As of this morning, after much criticism, the video featuring Kutcher as Raj has been pulled from Popchips’ YouTube channel.
Anil Dash weighed in on the video (and later received an apology from Popchips founder Keith Belling).
“Right now you’re making the world worse. Not just for me, or a billion other Indian people, but for my son, who I am hoping never has to grow up with people putting on fake Indian accents in order to mock him. Maybe people won’t be familiar with that stereotype if you, yes you personally, can refrain from spending millions of dollars and countless hours of your time on perpetuating that stereotype in order to sell potato chips.”
Dash goes through a list of things he’d like to see Popchips do in the aftermath, and it includes more than apologizing.
Via Media Decoder
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 3, 2012