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Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 05/02/2012

Ashton Kutcher stars in new Popchips ad (UPDATE)


Ashton Kutcher (Alex Gallardo - Reuters)

This post has been updated to reflect opinions about Kutcher’s character Raj.

Ashton Kutcher, fallen social media master and former trucker hat enthusiast, has lent his acting talents — and the buzz around his personal life — to Popchips for an ad campaign, which has now stirred up controversy.

In a video released online Wednesday, Kutcher plays five different men looking for love through a (fake) dating service called World Wide Lovers.

This choice for a fake company is rather interesting, considering his fairly recent split from wife Demi Moore. It also appears to be having the desired effect. See, for example, this headline from E! News: “Ashton Kutcher: Looking for Love Online in New Dating Video?!”

The actor — who serves as the brand’s “president of pop culture” — plays a tattooed biker, a Karl Lagerfeld-esque dandy, a hippie and himself, naturally, in the ad.

Kutcher also plays an Indian Bollywood actor named Raj. This portrayal has been called “racist” by Buzzfeed’s Scott Lamb, on Twitter and in the comments section of the video’s YouTube page.

A Twitter user named Raj, for example, tweeted, “An actual Indian named Raj does not find @aplusk in brown face to be funny.”

According to The New York Times, outdoor ads from the campaign will appear in New York, Los Angeles and Denver, among other markets.

Watch the video below.

Update No. 2: The Associated Press reports that the clip featuring Raj has been pulled from YouTube. Keith Belling, CEO of Popchips, said in a statement, “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.”

By  |  11:43 AM ET, 05/02/2012

Categories:  Celebrities | Tags:  Ashton Kutcher, Ads

 
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