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Unveiling the Hidden Controversy: The Astonishing Ashton Kutcher Popchips Ad

The controversial Ashton Kutcher Popchips commercial: A deep dive into the controversy

The world of advertising is no stranger to controversy, and sometimes even the most well-known celebrities find themselves at the center of it. One such example is Ashton Kutcher, who, in an unexpected turn of events, found himself embroiled in a heated debate over a Popchips commercial. In this article, we delve into the details of the controversial Ashton Kutcher Popchips commercial that you probably never knew existed.

The ad that sparked outrage

In April 2012, a Popchips commercial starring Ashton Kutcher aired that was supposed to be a lighthearted and humorous take on a dating show. The commercial featured five different bachelor characters, all portrayed by Kutcher himself. However, it was his portrayal of Raj, an Indian character, that caused quite a stir on social media.

The Brownface Issue

Ashton Kutcher’s characterization of Raj involved donning a dark brown wig, false mustache, and prosthetic nose, along with an Indian sherwani suit. While attempting to imitate an Indian accent, Kutcher’s use of makeup to darken his skin tone led to accusations of “brownface”. Brownface is when a person with lighter skin uses makeup or darkens their skin to mimic the appearance of someone of a different racial or ethnic background.

The Backlash and Criticism

After the ad’s release, it quickly went viral, with viewers and celebrities alike expressing their discontent and criticism. Many found Kutcher’s portrayal of Raj offensive and racist, describing the ad as “uncomfortably racist”. Hip-hop group Das Racist and media outlet Vulture were among those who called out the apparent brownface, contributing to the growing backlash against the commercial.

Popchips apology and response

In response to the growing controversy, Popchips CEO Keith Belling issued a public apology on behalf of the company. Belling acknowledged the feedback and expressed remorse for any offense caused by the commercial. He emphasized that the intention was to create a lighthearted parody featuring various characters, but they did not anticipate the offense it would cause. Popchips immediately removed the commercial from their social media platforms and apologized to anyone who was offended.

Ashton Kutcher’s silence

While Popchips responded to the controversy, Ashton Kutcher remained conspicuously silent on the matter. Despite public outcry and calls for him to address the issue, the actor did not release a statement or publicly acknowledge the controversy surrounding the ad. This silence only added fuel to the fire and left many questioning his stance on the matter.

The ongoing controversy

More than a decade later, the Popchips ad featuring Ashton Kutcher continues to stir controversy. Despite being removed from official channels, the ad can still be found on various YouTube channels, keeping the discussion alive. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of cultural sensitivity and the potential consequences when comedic attempts cross the line into offensive territory.

Bottom line

The controversial Ashton Kutcher Popchips commercial continues to be a topic of discussion and debate within the advertising and entertainment industries. The incident serves as a valuable lesson in the importance of cultural representation and sensitivity in the media. It also highlights the responsibility that both advertisers and celebrities have to navigate the boundaries of humor and ensure that their portrayals do not perpetuate harmful stereotypes. By learning from such controversies, we can strive for more inclusive and respectful advertising practices in the future.


The controversy revolves around a Popchips commercial starring Ashton Kutcher, in which he portrayed a character named Raj and was accused of using “brownface” to imitate an Indian accent and appearance.

Why was the ad considered controversial?

The ad sparked outrage because of Ashton Kutcher’s portrayal of Raj, which included wearing a dark brown wig, false mustache and prosthetic nose, as well as darkening his skin tone. Many viewers found this offensive and accused Kutcher of “brownface”.

What is brownface and why is it offensive?

“Brownface refers to the act of a person with lighter skin using makeup or artificial means to darken their skin tone to imitate someone of a different racial or ethnic background. It is considered offensive because it perpetuates harmful stereotypes and mocks the lived experiences of marginalized communities.

How did people react to the controversial ad?

The ad received significant backlash, with viewers and celebrities criticizing Ashton Kutcher’s portrayal of Raj as racist and offensive. Media outlets such as Vulture and The Racist called out the apparent brownface, adding to the growing controversy surrounding the ad.

How did Popchips respond to the controversy?

Popchips CEO Keith Belling issued a public apology, acknowledging the feedback and expressing regret for any offense caused. The company removed the ad from its social media platforms and apologized to anyone who was offended by the ad.

Has Ashton Kutcher addressed the controversy?

No, Ashton Kutcher has not publicly addressed the controversy surrounding the ad. Despite calls for him to respond, he remained silent on the matter, leaving many to question his stance and involvement in the controversial portrayal of Raj.

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