As the images and video are removed from Popchips' YouTube and Facebook account, founder Keith Belling says in a statement, 'I take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended.'
Fans would no longer be able to see Ashton Kutcher posing as Bollywood producer Raj in an ad campaign for Popchips. After the online ad was met with heavy racist criticism from Indian-Americans, the potato chip company removed the images and video featuring the 34-year-old actor in "brown face" makeup from its YouTube and Facebook account.
Keith Belling, the founder and CEO of Popchips, has also issued an official apology for the ad. "We received a lot feedback about the dating campaign parody we launched today and appreciate everyone who took the time to share their point of view," he began his statement that was posted on the company's website on Wednesday, May 2.
"Our team worked hard to create a light-hearted parody featuring a variety of characters that was meant to provide a few laughs," Belling continued on explaining. He concluded by stating, "We did not intend to offend anyone. I take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended."
The online ads, which were made by ad agency Zambesi, actually presented Kutcher as four different male characters looking for love on fictional website worldwidelovers.com. In addition to Raj, the "Two and a Half Men" star also brings to life Southern guy Swordfish, deadlocked hippie Nigel and Karl Lagerfeld look-alike Darl.
The Raj ad, in particular, sees the character saying that he's "looking for the most delicious thing on the planet." While some celebrities responded positively to the ad, others thought it was an offensive joke. Rapper Das Racist was among them. He tweeted, "Hey @aplusk, what's with the racist brownface video you talentless, pretending to care about sex trafficking piece of s**t?"
New York writer/entrepreneur Anil Dash was also vocal in voicing his displease. "Don't watch it; It's a hackneyed, unfunny advertisement featuring Kutcher in brownface talking about his romantic options, with the entire punchline being that he's doing it in a fake-Indian outfit and voice," he wrote on his blog. "That's it, there's seriously no other gag."
The 36-year-old continued on sending his point across by writing, "I can't imagine I have to explain this to anyone in 2012, but if you find yourself putting brown makeup on a white person in 2012 so they can do a bad 'funny' accent in order to sell potato chips, you are on the wrong course. Make some different decisions."