Thursday, May 3, 2012

(Kutcher as himself, Kutcher as Raj, Kutcher as Nigel, Kutcher as Darl, Kutcher as Swordfish)

If you've been watching the news lately you've probably heard of the Pop Chips ad campaign starring Ashton Kutcher as four different, single, men participating in a matchmaking service. Each of the characters has their own over-the-top, stereotypical characteristics that make them comedic, but one of the characters, Raj, has raised more than a few eyebrows, and has many in the Indian community screaming racism at Pop Chips and even Kutch himself.

While we do admit that the ad's comedy seeks to encourage laughs from cultural accents, costumes, and tendencies we also believe that the campaign was created with nothing but good intentions. It's high time we were all able to laugh at ourselves and embrace what makes us unique. We don't hear people from the Deep South complaining about the character of Swordfish who is a seemingly unsophisticated biker with a thick drawl and tattooed stomach. We also don't hear homosexuals, or the fashion community screaming in outrage about Darl, the puppy-toting, pale-faced, high maintenance design icon. And then there's Nigel, the flighty, British poet/hippie who is seeking "Higher" planes of consciousness, and still no rumblings of discontent from our brethren across the pond.

Why then is Raj met with such animosity? We're curious. In a day and age when the promotion of globalization and a diverse community tolerance is so strongly promoted, why are so many communities still so sensitive, and why is it okay to make fun of some and not others?

Perhaps Pop Chips will have the answer in their next advertising attempt...for now we ask you Yumologists for your input on this Pop Chips problem.

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