message from keith

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.

– keith belling, founder and ceo of popchips

110 thoughts on “message from keith”

  1. Keith, I appreciate the apology here and the personal conversation we had earlier today. I do believe your company did not have I’ll intent, but as I said, I hope you do take this as a lesson for your company as to how you can improve the flaws in culture that caused this to happen, rather than just a PR mistake to be corrected.

    I think you understand the broader issues involved, and hope you can do justice to your good products and good intentions by being open & transparent about how you’ll avoid these sorts of hurtful mistakes in the future.

  2. The issue is not what you intended, nor how people took it. The issue is WHAT. YOU. DID. And what you did was create and release an incredibly offensive commercial. Apologize for that, to everyone, not simply to “those who were offended.” Whether people were offended or not, they’re living in a world that you poisoned with your addition to racist discourse.

  3. Thank you for taking the initiative and apologizing. Glad to see some people actually care and don’t become defensive over criticism regarding something seen offensive by an entire minority group.

  4. 8 hours of radio silence and this is what you come up with? A boiler plate apology? You are lucky that Anil Dash is signing off on this weak sauce. I hope for your sake that he is right. I think we all look forward to learning how this fiasco happened and how you plan to address your process and culture to prevent another one.

  5. I feel like this apology is downplaying the obvious lapse in judgement that went into making the incredibly offensive advertisement. Although your intentions were to not offend, it is important that you note that you DID offend people, and perpetuated terrible stereotypes that, therefore, perpetuate racism.

    The fact that you apologize only “to anyone we offended” is bothersome. Language such as that makes the apologize seem like you are sorry for being caught, not for committing the act.

  6. Keith, don’t listen to these way-over-the-top, hysterically (and pathetically) hyper-sensitive, rabidly politically correct buffoons. there was nothing racist about the ad, which was clever and humorous.

    People seem to forget that human beings really are DIFFERENT around the world. Different races have varied physical attributes, and cultures differ tremendously. So what if those differences are viewed in a comedic light? Folks have been doing that since the dawn of mankind, but it’s only been in recent years that a tiny minority have been whining about it.

    Keith, take it from someone who’s never had a racist bone in his entire body: the commercial is great, Kutcher is funny in it and you and PopChips have done NOTHING to apologize for! Don’t let these idiots make you remove the commercial or even change it in any way! Oh, and you should know that the ad is VERY effective: tomorrow when I go shopping, I’m going to go out of my way to find and purchase some PopChips!

    A New PopChips Fan,

    Frank

  7. Until today, I used buy Popchips frequently because they were a relatively healthy “bad” snack. I will NEVER buy Popchips again!

    Why would you essentially pull a “Blackface” routine on a national ad featuring a prominent actor representing a group of people that are a relatively new immigrant group in this country. Seriously?!?!?! In 2012?!

    That’s not a true apology up there. A true apology wouldn’t try to make excuses for what you were doing or intending to want to do. Acknowledge that you created an offensive and racist ad and that you learned from it. I hope you learned from it. I’m sick of the majority in this country trying to excuse their racist and prejudicial behaviors and turn the blame back onto minorities that got offended. People get offended when you do offensive things. This is offensive.

    This is especially more infuriating because we live in a region that illegal immigrants from Europe some 500 years ago decided to steal. 98% of our population is either immigrant or ancestors of immigrants of other countries – you would expect that we’d be more compassionate and sensitive to others. But no.

  8. This is for the idiots screaming racism, you people really need to learn something called…SENSE OF HUMOR. You people are a portion of whats wrong in America today. EVERYONE gets made fun of, deal with it or go live somewhere else.
    I’m very disappointed popchips gave in and removed it. Its time companies stood up and told you conservative nutjobs to shut up and cry about something serious. There was never any harm intended and EVERYONE knows that. So tired of people like you all just salvating at the opportunity to cry and get your 2 senconds of fame.

  9. No-one has a right not to be offended and I fail to see where the ‘offence’ is in this siily ad, or why anyone should find it so.
    Thi has less to do with ‘offence’ and more to do with censorship…there is plenty of really offensive stuff around these day that no-one feels the need to complain about…the fact that an apology was made suggests that threats may have been issued…if true,well that would be offensive!

  10. the entire commercial is making fun about stereotypes. Apparently it is only safe to stereotype white people, everything else is racism… really guys?

  11. Keith,

    You said “our team worked hard to create a light-hearted parody …” – they worked hard and came up with this gem? That’s a pretty sad statement. Stupid gig like this doesn’t hurt me as a minority – but it certainly concerns me that we are becoming such a shallow society as a whole. I so hope that movie “idiocracy” never ever becomes reality.

  12. I can not believe what this country is coming to …. I do not believe that you have anything to apologize for … Ashton Kutcher is an “actor” he was acting … there was no malicious intent with regard to stereotyping or racist undertones running wild throughout this commercial. You people are ridiculous! Would you be as offended if Popchips had hired an Indian actor to play this part, or maybe a real biker dude? …. come on people this is nuts!

  13. Everyone has the right to voice their thoughts…..and personally I thought the commercial was funny!! So should we take offense that he was making fun of the white guy??…For god sake HE IS AN ACTOR that is what he does for a living. Has anyone watched Saturday Night Live? They make fun of everyone…ohh maybe we should have them taken off the air because You don’t have a sense of humor…..All I have to say I likde it!

  14. As soon as I heard you had Ashton Kutcher as a spokesperson, I lost respect for your company. His own public gaffes via his tweets have proven him to be a little minded person. Then you come out with these “funny” ads. Hey, the company you keep – right?

  15. Keith, you owe NO ONE an apology. That’s right. No one with a sense of humour was offended in the least. As for the rest, whatever. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, including me. And everything I’m seeing online today indicates that this is much ado about nothing! Only about one in every 15 posters has any kind of a problem with the ad. It was funny. You did well. Make the police of political correctness happy if you must, but know in your heart that you did just fine.

  16. Enjoyed the Parody as Intended
    I’m sorry Popchips is taking heat for the latest ad campaign. I can see and appreciate the light-hearted parody, which is entirely respectable and the norm in all sorts of slapstick entertainment. From neighborhood talent shows to Broadway shows, and throughout the international film industry, people are “acting” for the sake of entertainment. From guys in drag to comedians doing celebrity impressions, the world pays to be entertained in the same way Popchips has done with Ashton Kutcher.

    I believe that if you bow to pressure over this material, then what is wrong with the world? We apparently permit sex scenes and bad language in prime time sitcoms, but somehow THIS campaign crosses the line?

  17. The fact that your company thought the commercial would be thought of as “funny”, shows how narrow-minded your company is.

  18. I did not find the ad racist at all. Those who say that it is racist are the ones that are subconsciously racist themselves. I accept all races no matter what but there is nothing wrong with the add. When are we going to stop focusing about race and how other people will be offended. I myself am Indian and I found the ad funny.

  19. This is proof that things have really gone too far in this political world we live in. If people can’t look at a commercial and see humor in an “ACT” there is no hope for all nations of the world to ever get along. Coming from Native American roots, I realize the hate for a nation of people, but can still enjoy a smile on my face. Lighten up world!

  20. I think you have apologized way too early in this. From what I have read elsewhere, this ad is getting a lot of support from members of a lot of diverse ethnic groups who know first-hand what real racism looks and feel like. 90% of the comments I’ve read really want to know what is actually offensive about this ad?

  21. I think its a joke that you removed this advertisement and felt the need to apologize to the few that are offended. It was all in good “taste” PopChips! There were other “types” of people portrayed in the video as well. Its called a joke and I am tired of the select few that are overly insensitive have to ruin it for others. Just because someone makes a joke about a stereotype of another race does NOT make it racist. There is no hate, bigotry, prejudices, or any other feeling of superiority of one race over another involved. Keith stand by your product and your teams decisions. The very small minority of people who complain about issues that do not affect the majority, always seem to get their way anymore. I wonder how we can get the majority to speak up as well.

  22. The apology is not heart felt. People should have the common sense not to even okay such an ad in the first place. How many people sat on committees that planned and approved the ad and all thought it was funny? Everyone know not to run an ad making fun of blacks. But too many think it is acceptable to make fun of the “quieter” ethnic groups like Indian Americans and Asian Americans. As a member of one of the “gentler” minority groups I have always been told it was my fault in not being able to appreciate derogatory humor like this ad. I was expected to roar in laughter when people made fun of my heritage.

  23. It is obvious that this ad was made with the intention of giving us all a bit of a laugh…it made me chuckle because I have a good sense of humour, I didn’t see anything ‘racist’ in parodying someone of Indian heritage anymore than the other characters. It seems that a lot of people have been offended ‘by proxy’ perhaps in the naive belief that it will win them a few brownie points, or maybe they are just trying to curry favour!

  24. There is nothing racist about Popchip’s ad. It is ok to have movies like “White Chicks” but a parody of different people, including white, is deemed racist by a few who are looking for a platform.

    Keith, get a backbone…Meanwhile, I will buy some corn chips the next time I am at the store.

  25. keith

    i hope the apology, as sincere as it may be, is not used to cover up the rest of the flawed process + thinking that went in to the creation of this so called “parody”. micro-decisions made along the way and the chain of events that led you here needs to be openly examined – yes – openly – and the examination of said events needs to lead to micro-changes. otherwise, similar mistakes will be made again – not just hurting your good products & brand, but also human feelings on the receiving end of these mistakes.

    rohit

  26. There are lots of people out there that do not like stuff. You should not let a few people dictate what you are going to advertise. Someone is always going to find something wrong with what you do. I do not believe what you were doing is racist, it was comedy. The Politically correct are going to have it to were you can not say or do anything at all. You were not doing anything wrong. Put the ad back up and let them deal with it. Get over it!!!!!!

  27. I am an Indian. Maybe I have been too soaked in all this but I seriously don’t feel offended. This is making fun of the stereotypes. I don’t see it any more offensive than say Apu in Simpsons. After I heard about this, I watched the bit, its not funny but its not offensive (to me). I think we all need to lighten up a bit.

  28. Come on America, get over it! I’m Asian. I have friends who are blond. Don’t you receive “dumb blond” or Asian jokes…and laugh? This was a parody. What next? You’re going to stop “Saturday Night Live” from all the parodies they put on TV? More news hype…making more than it really is, what else is new? Move on.

  29. I just had to comment on this because I thought the commercial was hilarious! I think people just look for stuff to gripe about! It’s a joke people…lighten up! He was in character…why does everything have to be so politically correct nowadays? SNL has been doing stuff like this for years. I would like to know where the cry of racism fits into this. I mean really! Because he put on brown make-up and used an accent? How is that offensive? So, I guess Dustin Hoffman and Tyler Perry and Robin Williams and any other male actor who has dressed up as a woman in a movie would be considered sexist? Am I understanding this correctly? I don’t know Keith, I really don’t think you have anything to be sorry about…just sayin’!

  30. I find the apology more offensive then the Ad. Don’t like the ad, popchips, or Keith? Don’t buy their stuff or watch their commercials, and stay out of my life.

  31. Everyone CALM DOWN…it’s just a commercial, for heaven sake. And might I add, a funny and creative one. Way to go, popchips. Hey, Keith Belling, please know that not everyone is looking for something…anything…to complain about.

  32. People are overly sensitive and need to learn to laugh at themselves once in a while and learn to take a joke. Due to “Political correctness” it seems everyone has become hypersensitive to everything! 10-20 years ago, no one would have thought anything of this, but hilarious! Just look back at all the “In-living color” episodes with Jim Carrey and other big name actors making fun of themselves back then. That was televised and acceptable!

  33. Are you nut-jobs kidding me? Offensive? Give me and a lot of us a break!! That was a funny parody commercial and no more. Get off of your pedestals you fake “defend the world cultures” wannabe’s. It was meant to be funny and it was. No different than an Austin Power’s film or any other comedy. I understand why Keith had to make this apology but I NOW intend on purchasing your product! You complainers are such losers….

  34. I don’t even know what’s offensive anymore. Do people from India not use dating websites? Or was the shirt some brand Indian people don’t wear? The ad wasn’t funny… but offensive?

    At least we’re making progress in this country and people are being more vocal about what hurts their feelings. Soon we will have laws on the books that make sure that white people can’t talk to or about Indian people. Black people won’t associate with Asians. And we’ll all have separate drinking fountains and schools and everyone will be happy.

    Thank God for progress!!!

  35. A half-hearted apology for a truly egregrious mistake. Clearly no one even took the time to proofread this statement – I think it’s meant to read “we received a lot OF feedback…” I won’t be buying your products anymore, and will make sure none of my friends and family do either.

  36. “our team worked hard to create a light-hearted parody featuring a variety of characters that was meant to provide a few laughs.”

    I’m not offended by the racism & stereotypes as much as just by what a terrible advertisement this is.

    If your team actually worked hard, then this TV spot wouldn’t be so unbearable. The characters are so predictable that it hurts. Way to emphasize that the hippie is into “higher” culture. It was so hard to pick up on that crafty wordplay, I’m thankful that you did a close up so he could repeat the line.

    Seriously….

  37. Hated to see you cave in to the demands of the person or persons making the ad a racism issue. Would you have caved in if the “group” you offended with an ad was Native American, southern, bikers or blondes? Oh, wait a minute, it would be ok to stereotype them and offend them, right? I will not be buying any of your chips and I wonder just how big a customer Anil Dash will be?

  38. Holy cow, folks!!!! People in this country need to lighten up and learn how to laugh again!!!! It was cool that Lagerfeld was poked fun at, and a rasta guy, and a biker dude, oh and just an average, everyday regular guy, but god forbid you add a little color to the skin!!!!! Get a grip, this country, no, I’m sorry, this WORLD has become so wrapped up in what’s politically correct that people gotta walk around on egg shells for fear of offending somebody. If you were offended by that, so sad for you that you have absolutely no sense of humor. I, however, do have a sense of humor and I found the whole thing a little funny. People only seem to get offended when the comment made goes against what they believe. DIVERSITY is what this crappy country was built on. Yep, I said it! CRAPPY COUNTRY!!!!!!! oh, and you know what else….. I don’t believe in God, and I think same-sex marriage should be legal.

  39. I can’t believe how up tight people are any more! Get a sense of humor and stop taking things so seriously!

    If this had been a person of any other color impersonating and making fun of a white guy, not the first word would have been mentioned about racism. People need to learn to laugh at THEMSELVES FIRST.

    I believe the people making the complaints are the racists, not the folks who made the ad.

  40. I see nothing to apologize for. People are WAY to sensitive!! Its always about color…. I guess we better let every comedian on the planet who is not white know that they can no longer parody or joke about white people!! that would be a shame too….have you ever seen Eddie Murphy do a white guy? Priceless!!

  41. Great commercial! I enjoyed it and I don’t see anything wrong with it. Ashton did a wonderful job and his parody of the Indian guy was spot on! lol. He is very talented. I’m not sure what the problem is but I’m now looking for these chips to give them a try. My coworker is from India and he also laughed but said Ashton has a “way to go” on the accent… Remember you can’t please everyone and some cannot be pleased…

  42. Do not apologize for this being “racist”. Its only racist because the news cycle wants it to be. But I guess go with the flow? I also think Ashton is giving a bad name to bikers. Not all bikers have mustaches and wear black leather. This stereotype of bikers is not acceptable! Oh, and don’t forget the last character looking for a date (Ashton). This offends me because Ashton doesn’t need a dating website for find a date. Look I just typed a whole paragraph stating why this whole commercial should be banned. Yet there is no base. Ashton dressed up as several characters. Maybe if the only character he played was Indian, I would possibly wonder your choice of actors. But Honestly, GOOD job on a good COMMERCIAL.

  43. Plain and simple loved it! What is so offensive? Would love to know what Russell Peters think about it. I’m sure he wouldn’t have found this to be offensive at all, after all he pokes fun at his own culture and others as well. We laugh ,we don’t get all bend out of shape it. It is lighthearted and not spiteful or offensive . Think about it..!

  44. Everybody lighten up. The spot’s greatest fault is poor acting, of which the Indian character received the brunt. (I liked the dog licking the chip, though.) I’m going to buy PopChips now to protest against political correctness, and I hope business booms from this much-exposure-about-nothing.

  45. Wow, you guys caved. People are so thin skinned and get offended by any little thing that happens. Heaven forbid if I sneezed and don’t say excuse me loud enough for someone 50ft away to hear me. By the way, where is the “incredibly offensive” part of the commercial?
    One more thing, if Raj is getting removed from the commercial and all PR material involving Raj, might as well remove all the others. The American red neck society and the ultra male feminine society would be probably be offended too. Use hand puppets in your next commercial.

  46. I really appreciate Mr. Belling’s obviously sincere and unequivocal apology, even though I don’t think it was warranted. This was not an offensive ad to anyone with a reasonable sense of humor. But I must say it’s nice to find a CEO who doesn’t ooze arrogance. As far as I’m concerned, the TV ads that are really offensive are the stupid ones with all the special effects — the ones that don’t even try to sell the product. When I studied advertising in college we learned that it doesn’t matter if an ad is liked or disliked, as long as it is remembered. Well, I’ve reached the point where an ad that is just plain dumb or annoying (like the one for a satellite TV company or a car rental company) definitely has the effect of turning me off to both the sponsor and its products.

  47. I like PopChips and appreciate any company who breaks through all the noise with something edgy. But this was just ignorant. I caught a preview of the ad before it was pulled; my first thought: “are your kidding?” followed by “completely tone deaf” and finally, “racist.” If anyone on your team doesn’t understand the fallout, maybe it’s an invitation to Diversity 101.

  48. Keith I am sorry that you don’t stand behind your initial decision. There was NOTHING offensive in that ad. It is called parody and humour. It is a sad state of affairs that you have responded to a minority that are just looking for some s*#t to disturb. The people that were offended, well they will always find something to be offended about, no matter what. I can’t see what they found offensive. Colour me very confused and saddened by our current hypersensitive society.

  49. Hi Keith:
    This is at best a non-apology.
    The reality is that this video did offend.
    It’s shocking that a CEO of a major company does not understand this.
    You will need to do much more than a few worthless words to correct the racism that you have reinforced with your ad.
    sincerely,
    Victor Wong

  50. As someone with a “brownface”….that video was not offensive or racist at all. People just need to get off their high horse and get a life. It’s an ad people. Stereotypes do exist and they are a part of life. I don’t see the other characters being attacked. Get a life and move on…it’s a freaking chip for crying out loud!

  51. Keith — This comes off as a non-apology. Let’s see you make the same ad about black people. You’re a coward.

  52. It is not racist. Just perpetuating a stereotype. I worked at a Fortune 100 company and have to laugh along or risked being labeled as lacking a sense of humor. It gets old.

  53. In my support of humor, and my lack of support for uptight people who have no sense of humor, I plan to show my support by filling my garage with PopChips and swimming in them compleatly naked for a period of no less than 3 hours!! depending on the chip oil I hope to run naked through the streets with PopChips sharpied all over my body, and my skin glistening like a Twighligte Vampire!! Wait….did I just stereotype vampires??
    I’m doing it anyway!!!

  54. Keith: do not let others undermine your constitutional right to freedom of speech. You’re an American living in America and I feel sorry for all those who are up and arms over this light-hearted comical campaign that they cannot appreciate what its like to have this level of expression bestowed upon them in this great country. Why are we not chastising the Simpsons for featuring an Indian character, or SNL for routinely airing skits caricaturing people of different ethnicities? I agree with one of the posters here that such outcries can be dangerously misconstrued as preludes to threats….. these threats will and shall not rock the very foundation of what makes America unique in the world.

    ALAN

  55. The objections from some quarters is absolutely rubbish. As an Indian, I found the ad really funny. Most people know that Indians in the US living for a long time do not have such accent or behave like that. I think some Indians need to grow up. You never saw British folks getting angry about Austin Powers. And back in India, they have a penchant for fair skinned actors. Even some of the Bollywood songs go like “..O gori…” (Hey fair skinned girl). Never see the same folks asking a ban of those Hindi movies in the US?? So, whats wrong in Ashton painting brown over his face! I think some Indians in here need to grow up and get a life….They are letting the majority of us down.

  56. This is one of the best commercials in recent years. I think that it is extremely funny and I hope that it is not pulled from the marketing campaign. This is worthy of a superbowl ad, the commercial has gone viral because it is a great ad and not for any other reason.

  57. This was done in poor taste, and I have no idea how anyone would think it was a good idea. Not that the company cares, but I have been a pretty loyal customer for the last few years… And I don’t think I can continue to purchase pop chips anymore without getting a bad taste in my mouth.

  58. I hope Keith will reconsider and put the ad back on. Don’t bow to the pressure of the very few people who have no sense of humor. There was nothing wrong or racist about the commercial. It was simply an actor acting. Stereotypes happen for a reason. usually because they are true for a given for a certain gender, race or ethnicity. People think Stereotyping and Prejudice/Racism go hand in hand when in truth they are polar opposites. This is just another case of the minority wanting to make the decision for the majority. Hopefully someday one of these companies will stand up for themselves and tell everyone that they will not bend over to pressure from a small minority. Keith put the ads back up you won’t lose but 10 customers compared to the 1000′s who will try your product because you stood up to these humorless people.

  59. You should not have apologized. It was not offensive. Let them say what they will. You need to issue an anti-apology. Thats what needs to happen.

  60. To the people who planned this campaign, as well as Ashton Kutcher himself, I ask:

    1.) If stereotyping a race is no big deal, a light-hearted parody, nothing to get offended about…

    Then why didn’t you do a BLACKFACE ad as well?

    Why didn’t you have Ashton do a character in full blackface as “Mr. Bo Jangles”, who loves eating watermelon and playing basketball, and is looking for a hot Mammy who can make him cornbread and collard greens?

    Or how about Ashton in JEWFACE? Wearing a yarmulke and a large fake nose, talking about how he runs the entertainment industry (or is a wealthy banker), never tips waiters because he is cheap, and is looking for a hot Shiksa because he hates Jewish women?

    Because that would have not been acceptable, you say?

    I see. So it’s not okay to stereotype Blacks, Jews etc. – but it’s okay to make asinine generalizations about Indians. Interesting.

    AND…to those who say lighten up, this is not offensive, I ask:

    Would you have laughed at the Mr. Bo Jangles character? Or the cheap money-grubbing Jewish stereotype?

  61. Seriously? I do not comprehend why everyone is so freakin’ sensitive all of a sudden. I am not a Kutcher fan but I found the ad slightly amusing. Maybe I am supposed to be pissed off because he did a pale blonde impersonation. Wahhh waaaahhh. Grow a pair and get over yourselves.

  62. What in the world were you thinking when you picked Aston Kutcher? Seriously. You need some Kate Upton commercials…. Yeah.. that’s the ticket.. Kate Upton.

    Chips are great, by the way, AK or not.

  63. loved the commercial!! thanks for the laugh popchips!! people need to get a sense of humor! it obviously wasn’t done maliciously. no need for apologies or ad pulling. i’m going to go buy some popchips!! =)

  64. People need to stop being overly sensitive and stop labeling things as racist that just aren’t. Why don’t you fight real racism instead of fighting against a parody meant to be humorous. No one has a problem with Mad Tv, In Living Color, or SNL making fun of sterotypes but this is one come on! How is this a stereotype? Are all Indian people Bollywood producers? Obviously he was playing a character. All of you crying racism need to get a thicker skin.

  65. I thought the Aston Kutcher commercial was hilarious, I think he’s a great actor. I think there are people who would claim racist no matter what you put out there. Some people have no sense of humor.

  66. Oh all that is holy!!!! Are you kidding me? I’m INDIAN and I didn’t take one iota of offense to the ad. I thought it was funny. How is it “okay” for Saturday Night Live (Or Mad TV) to paint faces and it’s called “comedy” but it’s not okay on a commercial. It’s not stereotypical if IT’S TRUE. Last I checked, (some) Indians are brown skinned. If they are in India (Asia) they talk with an accent. They also wear the Kurtas Dhotis and Sherwani. Furthermore, saying he wants the “the most delicious thing on the planet”could mean anything. Perhaps he’s talking about a woman, curry or potato chips. That’s the funny part (insert laughter here). Besides who doesn’t want their mate, spouse, girl/boyfriend to be good looking or “delicious” looking. We call men McSteamy and McDreamy yet its not okay to say we want them to be delicious? Give me a break. All this politically correct crap is getting out of control. Next thing you know Indians won’t want to be called Indians. How’s “Caucasian with a permanent tan” sound? I’m open to votes. Indians unite and maybe congress with pass that name as the PC thing to be called. In case anyone missed it – - – it’s called sarcasm.

    Signed,
    Indian with a sense of humor

  67. When did humanity lose its sense of humor? I’d like it back, please. Oh, and I am totally buying the enormously huge bag of PopChips from Costco, and will eat them in one sitting. Skinny people, be offended.

  68. LOVE Popchips and am not offended by the commercial but don’t get what it has to do with the Popchips brand. Unless you plan to have a contest with a Win a Date with Ashton or one of the characters .. than it would make sense other than that it’s just a commercial that if I saw it on TV/Youtube etc I’d flip it since it isn’t showing your product. I could make a funner tongue in cheek ad than this. Have Ashton bathing in Popchips (in a tub) or Skydiving using a giant Popchip .. etc.,

  69. I liked your ad and do not see how it is offensive. I think you should make a second ad with female “reply ads” responding for a date. Maybe with a redneck girl or a shop-o-holic girl with a toy dog. It would be very cute and memorable

  70. Pretty weak apology for being a bunch of racists. I hope you guys go out of business.

  71. Why aren’t transvestite mad? Or hicks? Or stoners? Because you stereotyped all of them too. Oh, that’s right, because it was a joke. Every character was a ridiculous exaggeration. People love looking for drama. Racism is when someone is being hurtful, PopChips was being light-hearted and funny. ABOUT A LOT OF DIFFERENT STEREOTYPES. No wonder so many Americans have high blood sugar. Calm the hell down and smile.

  72. To bollywood joe. Right on!

    Mr. bojangles in blackface and a guy in a yarmulke would have never made it on their “light hearted” dating contest, but a little brownface is ok, right? Just goes to show the double standard about Indian stereotypes. Shameful.

  73. This is the problem with this country: it’s overflowing with pathetic weenies who talk out of both sides of their mouths. Anyone who took offense at this ad, yet wouldn’t dare “raise up in protest” against every non-white comedian who makes “white people” jokes, or films like “White Girls”, deserves to be offended. Absolute silliness! But go ahead liberal, paper warriors of the world: reply now with your limp-wristed, hackneyed remarks, because that’s all you bravado you’re capable of mustering.

  74. Holy crap! Shut up and go to work. Raj is racist? Give me a fricking break.
    Saw the ads and thought they were funny. The people that are complaining have nothing better to do that try to find racism in everything. Actors act. Get over it. Find something else to do in life besides complain. Just because you hate your own life doesn’t mean you have to ruin it for everyone else.
    PopChips …
    - Keep the ads and you have a new customer
    - Pull the ads because a bunch of over-sensitive, stay-at-home, out-of-work idiots can’t find anything better to complain about and you lost a new customer

  75. Oh yeah … one more thing. People that complain about trivial crap like this also complain about a whole bunch of other stuff. It is in their blood. They are negative, so they have to find things to be negative about. It kills them not to be complaining. Bottom line, next week these lonely, single people will be complaining about how fast-food restaurants are making them fat
    Sooooo … keep the ads. Chances are they don’t eat chips anyway.

  76. Come on people get a sense of humor! Were you complaining when the movie White Chicks came out, when the Wayans brothers were wearing “white face”? Grow up!

  77. I dont know what everyone is so worked up over. The commercial is ridiculously funny! Hello people, ITS ASHTON!!!! Be offended if they have placed the commerical in an activity that degrades or humiliates someone, someone’s culture, or religion. This commercial is about an actor playing different roles. Get over it. Try looking at McAllen Tx city home webpage. It shows blonde haired, fair skinned people in their ad for a community, city, region, area that is 98% “brown-skinned” hispanics (which by the way, so am I). Talk about being offensive!!! What are they trying to tell the public? That our region population is like that!!!! Be offended THEN, not over a commerical that gives equal attention and humor to a variety of cultures or ways of self-expression such as the “dreads” character. You might as well be offended when you see commercials over baby pampers which are just as cute.

  78. Keith,
    Your ad was light-hearted and humorous. I work in an industry where I encounter a Raj at least once a week and your characterization and parody were spot on. The character was not a statement a about the Indian people as a whole but about a certain kind of person. No one seems to get upset about the flood of commercials that depict white males as inept, idiotic or ridiculous. People need to not take themselves so seriously. I don’t think you should have pulled your ad. I think the detractors are fewer that the proponents and I do not feel your sales would have suffered long term. Run a black face ad, run a nerdy white guy, run a jew ad if it is done a humorous way, I would bet the majority would not get offended…Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder – the black community did not get all up in arms.

    Sure stand for your chip sales but also stand for freedom of speech and the right to have a sense of humor about ourselves as a society.

  79. C’mon guys (specially the minority ones!)…….we can’t be so outdated not to accept such kind of humor in 2012……we aren’t anymore part of a medieval society…….Ashton is a cool actor and just disguised few characters……Just don’t take everything personally! that’s what I’ve learnt

  80. Just dont stop it from going viral and you will get more exposure from people turning this in to a racism play than understanding the difference of being funny and being offensive.

  81. Come on people…lighten up!! “Incredibly offensive”? Really??????? I don’t know about other folks, but I don’t laugh much anymore and this commercial made me laugh each of the 2 or 3 times I saw it. BTW, Just Ash, I thought your comments were great! Oh, and I’ll be sure to buy popchips next time I see them in a store.

  82. Just show how bitter some people are, you should learn to laugh and enjoy life!

  83. Buy the way my family buys your product! Dont let the noisy few drive an apology – I would rather you come back and say – “lighten up – we did – by popping not frying!” You can use that quote:) I also hope that you have receive national news attention which is free advertising! You will gain more happy buyers than grumpy apology seekers. If anyone wants to be offended then consider Madagascar the movie and King Julien XIII the conceited, fun-loving ring-tailed lemur who is voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen, who speaks in an Indian accent. Actually all the characters are more racist stereotypes than this ad…. or are they just stereotypes? Saying someone (or a group of people – or paticular race) likes fried chicken or curry isnt racist (its true) – saying they can only do a certain type of job due to a general lack of intelligence (of the race) is… Does anyone see the difference? I hope I have offended someone – I know I did because of the general what to be PC that has infiltrated our society to where nothing can be funny…so sad.

  84. I think popchips as an organization failed to manage the marketing stragety but at the same time Auston is equally guilty. Why isn’t he being blasted?

  85. The ad was very racist! The apology was not sincere. This ad has permanently turned me off to popchips and Ashton kutcher. I will never again buy this product.

    For the people that do not think this was racism, if he was playing a “blackface” African American character, would that have been racist? What would the African American community say then? These “blackface” African American stereotypes were portrayed in the media numerous times in the 40s, 50s, 60s. Is it appropriate to stereotype and degrade a group of people just because they have been doing in the past? This commercial is the same thing, except this is “brownface

  86. is that all people have to do with their time these days? that was no more racist than a dave chapelle show. get over it already, don’t buy anymore popchips if it makes you feel better. who really cares? oooh, i’m sensitive and offended, oooh my vagina hurts, oooh i’m not buying anymore popchips. get a fricking life already. i found that ad very funny. as abu says in the simpsons, “thank you very much, come again please”. i’m not a racist. i hate everyone equally!!

  87. I had just bought some Pop Chips. Won’t be doing that anymore. No doubt however, all these posters who applaud your strategy will buy double the amount and keep you in business…till the next thing comes along.

  88. For the people defending Ashton and Pop Chips. How would you feel if Ashton was wearing “black face.”

  89. There was nothing racist about this ad. It was exactly as intended, a light-hearted parody. People and cultures are different, and there is nothing wrong with that. I was not aware of your products prior to this ad, but I am now. I will be giving them a try.

  90. Clearly some people need an education on racist stereotyping and where it can lead.

    Yeah you would be offended if you were Indian.

  91. This ad was incredibly offensive and after I heard of this ad earlier today, I will never again buy Popchips.

    Digusting behavior.

  92. You should be ashamed of yourselves for this debacle. This is The United States of America!!! The 1st Amendment, you heard of it? You guys need a lesson on the American Constitution and grow a backbone. This age of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS is ridiculous.

    You guys need to act like you have a big pair. Admittedly it isn’t all that funny but to give in to “gotcha” political and race advocates shouldn’t be rewarded for crying like little babies who got their feelings hurt, boo frickin whoo you wimps.

  93. After going through the whole list of comments all I can say is that I am exasperated by the amount of whaa whaa posts left by various close minded idiots with no sense of humor. Black face? really? I suppose you all need to make some signs and post yourselves outside of Fox Animation and Hank Azarias house. Last time I checked The Simpsons has been on the air going on 25 seasons with a very white (tan actually) voicing an Indian who is portrayed in a very stereotypical manner (owns a convenience store, he had an arranged marriage, he cheats his customers with changing milk dates well expired, buy something or get out, racist, etc.) For the love of Buddha, get over yourselves. How dare a Greek Jew make fun of Indians since 1989-present. And you get upset over a single commercial? I wasn’t aware that Indians had no sense of humor. Get over yourselves already. Free Speech is one of the many things that make America GREAT!! Thank you, come again, butt-munches.

  94. Well, gosh, I’m sorry I won’t be buying your product anymore, schmuck. Take a good look at your defenders and ask yourself if that’s really who you want to hang out with.

  95. I buy Popchips. Aside from the salt content, I thought they were a decent product. Now, I will walk by them and let everyone know exactly why I am doing that. Ashton Kutcher lacks common sense and maybe needs to money to do something as daft as this. But whilst the salt content is high in Pop Chips, the humour in this advert is sadly missing. Brownface in lieu of Blackface? Seriously? Is this what is seen as humour? Are we returning to the age of Sambo, except this time it’s for Asians? Look around universities globally, look around the creative arts, and much as I hate bringing this up, look at the wealthiest folks in the world, they are Brown, Indians.

    Grow up Pop Chips and take a look around you. And as a CEO, THINK before you insult a fairly large consumer group, even if you don’t care about their sensibilities, and have the spine to apologize to them, NOT to a random group of “those who you may have offended.”

  96. Those who complained about being offended need to grow up. Perhaps “mature” is a better word. I would suggest that those who whine about (and attack unmercifully) those who have offended them lack intelligence and humility. Mr. Belling, if leaders continue to bend so quickly to every liberal whiner about being offended, we’ll all end up being just a large, ineffective mob who expects everything for nothing. Sorry, but the Indian accent and schtick is funny to me. At least two current american sit coms have indian co-stars that get laughs based on their ethnicity. I think its too easy for critics to shout things up online. I would bet that in a face-to-face situation, the critics would keep their mouths shut. Frankly, no apology was necessary.

  97. What I find most offensive are the scores of humorless, thin-skinned, narrow-minded bores who scream “RACIST” at a goddamned comedy sketch. Really?? Why aren’t you standing up for me? By God, I’m from the South and I’m pretty sure I detected a little Hillbilly accent in one of those characters. Raise your pathetic flags for all us rednecks, won’t you please? On second thought – stay the hell out of our little corner of the world. We still like to laugh at life.

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