May 2, 2012 at 12:50 PM ET
Update from TODAY.com at 11:17 a.m. ET: As reported Wednesday morning on TODAY, the company behind the controversial ads, Popchips, has now yanked the item many considered to be most offensive -- the spot featuring Ashton Kutcher in "brownface" portraying a Bollywood producer named Raj.
Popchips CEO Keith Belling posted an apology on the company's website.
"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. 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."
Update from TheWrap.com at 9:30 p.m. ET: The "Two and a Half Men" star's ad for Popchips has raised the hackles of some in the Twitterverse, who are criticizing the ad as racist because Kutcher wears "brownface" in it.
New York writer/entrepreneur Anil Dash called for an apology from Popchips, Kutcher and others associated with the ad.
"I think the people behind this Popchips ad are not racist. I think they just made a racist ad, because they're so steeped in our culture's racism that they didn't even realize they were doing it," Dash wrote.
Brooklyn-based hip-hop group Das Racist was similarly unimpressed, and urged people to contact the company in protest.
A YouTube user offered another bashing in the comments section, writing, "LOL @ Ashton thinking he could become relevant again by putting on racist brownface, acting like Indian men are all creepers (who moustaches), and attempting caricatures of popular filmy dances. How mid-twentieth century! How cute! Very impressed."
Popchips claims that the ad campaign wasn't intended to offend.
"The new Popchips worldwide dating video and ad campaign featuring four characters was created to provoke a few laughs and was never intended to stereotype or offend anyone," the company said in a statement provided to TheWrap. "At Popchips we embrace all types of shapes, flavors and colors, and appreciate all snackers, no matter their race or ethnicity. We hope people can enjoy this in the spirit it was intended."
Original story from E! Online: Guess that rumored romance with Mila Kunis really wasn't true, because Ashton Kutcher is looking for love online!
In a new ad campaign for Popchips, the actor stars as four eclectic characters seeking romance on a fictitious dating site. He also plays himself, a 34-year-old man looking to find Mrs. Right.
The "Two and a Half Men" star portrays Raj, a Bollywood producer looking for someone "like Kardashian hot"; Nigel, a dreadlocked dude seeking "higher plains of consciousness"; Darl, a feisty Karl Lagerfeld look-alike; and Swordfish, a bearded, bandana-wearing guy who wants "something hot and spicy."
After the four characters introduce themselves, Kutcher himself takes a seat in the interview chair and tells the cameras, "Your waiting room's like a freak show. Are we all in the same category?"
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