In a statement on the Popchips website, CEO Keith Belling writes on Thursday (May 3), “We received a lot of 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.”
The problem began when Kutcher, dressed as a Bollywood producer named Raj, explains with a thick Indian accent that he’s looking for “the most delicious thing on the planet.” It was supposed to be a clever way to promote the product, but many didn’t see it that way.
Tech entrepreneur Anil Dash writes, “I think the people behind this Popchips ad are not racist. I think they just made a racist ad, because they’re so steeped in our culture’s racism that they didn’t even realize they were doing it.”
The company had previously explained, “We hope people can enjoy this [ad] in the spirit it was intended.” But in the end, the snack food maker decided it was a better idea to scrap the spot.