Pop Chips marketers have not completely removed "Raj" - a South Asian character played in brown-face by actor Ashton Kutcher - from the Internet. If their intention was to erase the character that drew racism charges on Twitter yesterday and elicited an apology from their CEO, they evidently forgot about a video still live on Facebook and YouTube.
Pop Chips recently unveiled a number spots where Kutcher plays four characters, parodying dating site videos. While the brand took down the individual "Raj" video on YouTube, it has left up a one-minute, 38-second spot that combines all of the characters on the video site and Facebook. Raj is the first character seen in the spot, and makes a later appearance in the video.
The San Francisco-based company's PR agency did not respond to questions about the video this morning. ClickZ called and emailed its East Coast reps about the situation.
And even though Keith Belling, Pop Chips CEO, apologized on the company’s blog yesterday, the Raj video is still being promotionally employed. Belling wrote, "i take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended."
Meanwhile, Kutcher - the star of CBS' "Two And A Half Men" - tweeted out each of the character videos yesterday, minus Raj.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014