Makers sorry for 'racist' video
The makers of a US snack food have apologised for a controversial advertisement that featured Ashton Kutcher in brown-face as a Bollywood film producer.
Popchips said that they acknowledged "a lot of feedback" to the new ad campaign, which was deemed to be "racist" after the Two and a Half Men star played an Indian character looking for love on a dating site.
Popchips pulled a short video of "Raj" from its YouTube channel and Facebook page – but kept a composite advertisement in which Kutcher puts on an accent and announces that he is "looking for the most delicious thing on the planet."
The campaign features five characters – a hippy, a hillbilly biker, a Karl Lagerfeld-lookalike and Kutcher himself – but it was "Raj" that caused outrage online.
"Don't watch it; It's a hackneyed, unfunny advertisement featuring Kutcher in brownface ... with the entire punchline being that he's doing it in a fake-Indian outfit and voice," New York tech consultant Anil Dash wrote.
On Twitter, the rap group Das Racist asked Kutcher "Hey @aplusk, what's with the racist brownface video?"
On his corporate blog, Popchips founder Keith Belling wrote: "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 apologise to anyone we offended."
According to Gawker, Kutcher is the brand's official spokesperson and co-developed the ad campaign.