Ashton Kutcher dusted off his hokey ‘Indian accent’ at a wedding: racist?

ashton3

Ashton Kutcher has been a douchebag for years. I tend to think people are trolling when they ask stuff like, “What has he done that’s so douchey?” Or “Why are you always referring to him as a douchebag?” All of his exes have bashed him (justifiably), he openly cheated on Demi Moore, and his sense of humor goes from appallingly juvenile to outright racist. How about that to start with?

In 2012, Ashton was hired to do a commercial for “PopChips.” While I’m sure Ashton didn’t come up with the concept of the commercial, he still agreed to put on Indian “brownface” (plus a prosthetic “Indian” nose) and do a hokey Indian accent, pretending to be some Bollywood mogul – go here to review. PopChips ended up pulling the ad and apologizing after the outpouring of disgust, and Ashton got hit with some slams for agreeing to it. Lesson learned? Not so much. Over the weekend, Mila Kunis and Ashton attended a wedding for Google VP Nikesh Arora, and Ashton decided to bring out his brownface, his hokey Indian accent and his Bollywood dancing styles. For real. You can see the video here.

Ashton Kutcher busted out his best Indian turban — and his WORST Indian accent and dance moves for the traditional Indian wedding of one of his friends … and let’s just say, Apu from the Simpsons would be proud.

Ashton’s pal, Google VP Nikesh Arora, got married over the weekend in Italy — and made the awesome decision to have Ashton on stage for a Bollywoodesque dance number. Watch the vid … Ashton holds his own on the dance floor. The hysterical/questionable taste part comes when he gets on the mic and attempts an Indian accent. No one at the wedding seemed offended, and the groom was definitely cool with it … but 1.2 billion people miiiight have a different opinion.

[From TMZ]

“But it was a private wedding,” they’ll say. “No one said anything at the time,” they’ll say. “Why does it matter anyway, you’re being too sensitive,” they’ll say. But really? How is this okay? Especially since just two years ago, he was called out for literally the same exact thing?!

ashton2

Photos courtesy of PopChips ad, WENN.

 

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

73 Responses to “Ashton Kutcher dusted off his hokey ‘Indian accent’ at a wedding: racist?”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Lindy79 says:

    Same as with Timberlake/Biel and their disgusting friends at their wedding, the fact it was private is irrelevant. All it means is that you’re an asshat in private who tries to hide it from your fans

  2. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Oh ffs. Again? Really?

  3. Sarah says:

    Look, its not okay, but the groom bears at least half the responsibility here for asking him to do it.

  4. NewWester says:

    His unborn child will be so proud to see articles like this about her father one day. Can we call him Uber Douche now?

  5. Tiffany27 says:

    I hate this idea that “well his friend isn’t offended” means I shouldn’t be either. He is gross and even worse, he’s procreating.

  6. blue marie says:

    I’m going to go with dick move but I’m curious, did his friend ask him to do something like that or did Ashton offer? Why was Ashton given a stage?

    • GiGi says:

      When I read about this last night the article said the groom asked him to be part of this Bollywoodesque thing. Now, a normal person might have said, “Thanks, but I wouldn’t really be comfortable with that.” But not Ashton! He was all over it… ugh.

  7. Dany says:

    so the groom (and likely the bride too) wanted Ashton to do a stupid bollywood-parody on his private wedding party? And? They are buddies likely with the same childish humour. Obviously the couple wanted to amuse family and friends with a funny show full of all the hollywood/bollywood-clichés

  8. Rhiley says:

    Ashton Kutcher is the Douche Bag King. When I saw this yesterday, my first thought was, “and you are going to be someone’s father.” He wants people to think he is brilliant, and versatile, but crap like this shows he is willing to make an a** of himself for money, and he is happy to do it even though it is in poor taste and insulting to billions of people. I couldn’t believe when I Mila Kunis referred to him as a movie star. B*tch please! You will never see Clooney or Pitt pulling crap like this.

  9. Lady says:

    It’s in poor taste for sure. Although I have to admit I nearly wee my pants when my rather flamboyant gay mate does his impersonation of a macho straight man.

  10. feebee says:

    His friend/groom asked him to do it? Maybe he was thinking the dance but Ashton elevated it with his impression? I guess if ‘they’ though it was going to go over as funny, knock yourselves out. it was a private wedding, I don’t think 1.2B people needs to come into it. But you know, be okay when it gets out and you get some “feedback”.

  11. Jen says:

    Eh, as an Indian person, no one cares when white people do this at Indian weddings. it’s a party, everyone can join in.

    • Indira says:

      That’s true actually. We have a huge degree of reverse racism going on in India. We’re racist amongst ourselves too (I’m of mixed Indian heritage and get a lot from my own grandparents) But that doesn’t excuse this sort of thing, I don’t think. Plus the American version of an Indian accent really bugs me. The closest thing to a real Indian accent I’ve heard on TV is Raj on BBT and that’s because he’s Indian from India as opposed to someone playing an Indian role or second generation Indians.

      • LAK says:

        i thought Raj was British?

        ps: most British indians have very strong ties to India or East Africa, so his being British Indian doesn’t mean he isn’t also India indian.

      • Indira says:

        Can’t seem to reply to LAK directly. I didn’t say he’s not ‘India Indian’ I said he’s an Indian from India as opposed to an Indian who grew up in the US or someone of let’s say Latin descent playing an Indian role. Maybe Kunal Nayyar is called British Indian because he was born in the UK but he was brought up in Delhi.

      • word says:

        @ LAK

        Nope, he was born and raised in India. He actually has the same accent in real life as his character on the show as I have seen him do many interviews. He’s a really funny guy in real life as well.

      • LAK says:

        Indira: it’s quite obvious that he isn’t a native American so i never read your comment as creating confusion in that regard. it never crossed my mind that you might be referring to India vs Native America.

        With regard my comment, i honestly thought he was British Indian rather than India Indian – his accent on BBT sounds more British Indian to me than India Indian. I’ve never bothered to look further because that’s what i thought. That’s why i was surprised by your statement.

        Further, I clarified in my statement because in Britain, the two aren’t mutually exclusive as many British Indians retain strong ties to India or East Africa and go back and forth whether as visitors or partially grow up in both countries.

      • word says:

        Oops that is correct, he was born in the U.K. but raised in India. He went to college in the U.S.

        LAK – he is classified as “British Indian” simply because he was born in the U.K. to Indian parents. A lot of Indians in India, however, do have a bit of a British influence with regards to their English speaking skills…this goes back to the British rule of India. If you listen to many Bollywood actors/actresses, they too sound a bit British though they grew up in India. It really depends on where in India you were raised big city vs. small village and the type of education you received.

    • Original Tessa says:

      Agreed. Why can’t people have fun with other people’s cultures, without it turning into some accusation that they’re being hateful in some way? My fiancé is going to have his groomsmen wear kilts. None of them are Scottish. Will they be secretly doing it as a show of hate for my fiancé’s culture?

      • msw says:

        The offense taken to some specific cultural copying is rooted in context. It is social construction. Which does not mean it isn’t real; it means different cultures will naturally react differently to parts of their culture being copied. It does not mean wearing a kilt and dressing up in a prosthetic nose/speaking in a fake accent which has a history of mocking Indians as convenience store clerks are the same thing.

        The biggest factor, IMO, is the reaction from the group being impersonated. I’m not going to tell an Indian person they should be offended by something they don’t really care about. Likewise, I’m not going to tell a Native American they shouldn’t be offended by pictorials of white celebrities wearing war bonnets and an African American they are just too sensitive about black face. Its not my place, as a person with privilege, to tell them what should matter to them when it comes to cultural sensitivity. Its that simple.

    • harpreet says:

      See, Indians in India for some reason are ok with this type of racism. But the problem is, for them, they do not realize that it is a problem for Indian abroad who are a minority in a country abroad.

      This can add to negative stereotypes that Indians (or even any brown skinned person) must face when living abroad.

    • word says:

      @ Jen

      Speak for yourself please.

    • Mina says:

      No one cares when white people don a sombrero and a poncho, either. As a Mexican, I think we kind of encourage it ;)

  12. Mia4S says:

    He’s gross and trashy. That’s not new. That crap show he is on supposedly ends next year. Can we try to avoid getting him a new one?

  13. kibbles says:

    Ashton is a douchebag for sure but I took a look at the video and it wasn’t that bad. Not nearly as offensive as the PopChips commercial. I am a fan of Bollywood films so if an Indian friend invited me to dress in traditional Indian attire and dance at his or her wedding, I’d do it in a heartbeat. However, I would do it because I like that aspect of Indian culture and not because I’m doing it to make an ass of myself and make fun of Indian culture. I think some people perceive what Ashton did in the video as offensive because he’s an all around jerk and offensive behavior is part of his nature. He acted a fool on stage and did a lame Indian accent. People at the wedding took it in stride and most found it to be humorous. I don’t think this is a particular instance where Ashton needs to be reprimanded. I mentioned in the Dakota Fanning post that American society has become increasingly PC and I think it is due to the media trying to make an example of any public figure who makes an off the cuff remark that can be perceived as racist.

  14. starfan says:

    People will defend him by saying “you’re too PC man, get over it”. It’s not that difficult to understand, that certain individuals used to get away with racism on a daily basis. But in 2014 us “PC” POC just can’t shrug off the hate anymore.

  15. Sarah says:

    I’m married to an Indian dude so I have a lot of experience being a white girl in an all-Indian environment. I’d say that clothing and even dancing wouldn’t really be offensive. I don’t think Indians see their clothes as being something only they can wear. In fact, I have always been encouraged to wear Indian clothes. The accent? Yeah that’s offensive. But I’ve seen many American Indians make fun of Indian Indians like that. Not that this makes it right but yeah probably nobody there would have been offended by that.

    • Jen says:

      Exactly. it’s like whatever. And I’m Indian and me and all my friends still do lame attempts at the accent and we can’t cause we’re all American.

    • lucy2 says:

      A friend of mine was in an Indian wedding and they all wore beautiful, traditional Indian clothes. Doing something like that, and the dancing, is a nice way to celebrate the couple’s heritage, but I totally agree the accent is where the problem is. And he should have known better, considering the Pop Chips problem.

  16. Maya Memsaab says:

    I’m Indian and is this offensive? Dunno. Is it irritating and tacky? Hell yes.

    When I went to the UK, I found it more annoying when people said stuff like ‘Your English is SO good!

    Erm…I’ve been speaking English since I was 4 and have had 25 years of education in English. We are the second largest English speaking population in the world, FFS.

    • word says:

      Blame that on the stereotypes of Indians on tv and in the movies. How often do you see an Indian on tv that doesn’t have an accent? Even if the actor was born outside of India and naturally doesn’t have an Indian accent, they will make them fake an accent. It really pisses me off. I don’t mind Ashton dancing to Bollywood songs at his friend’s Indian wedding. His friend asked him to. He should have taken it more seriously and actually tried though. If you notice in the video, the women dancing on stage are all Caucasian as well. I think he should never do the Indian accent. I can’t tell you as a child how many stupid kids would come up to me pretending to talk to me in a fake Indian accent. How is that fun? I don’t get it.

    • LAK says:

      I see this as ignorance more than stereotyping though that also comes into play.

      Honestly, the only thing on British TV about countries that aren’t first world is scenes of poor destitute foreigners who can’t afford basics usually speaking in their own language. They’ve completely forgotten or don’t realise that the legacy of Empire is that we all speak English and we speak proper Queen’s English rather than colloquial English.

      The other aspect to this is the Queen’s English isn’t taught anymore in Britain with the same rigor that it is taught in the countries that were part of the empire. Anyone who speaks the Queen’s English is perceived as posh even if they are not.

      So when a foreigner from a non first world country speaks the Queen’s English, they are surprised because they have to rethink all their stereotyping and preconceived notions.

  17. Lucinda says:

    I can’t claim any kind of cultural appropriation here because I’m not Indian. I don’t really know how offensive this may or may not be. To me, it appeared he was encouraged to come on stage and dance the dance. He may have even been encouraged to dress up. I don’t think that in and of itself is offensive. It’s HOW Ashton handles himself onstage that is offensive I think. He acts clownish instead of really trying to dance. He isn’t making fun of himself. He holds a judgmental pose when watching other dancers and then seems to pretend to “outdance” them. The whole posturing seems to be the issue.

    The accent at the end? Just childish and stupid.

  18. Amberica says:

    Eh. If it was an accent from a predominantly white society, there’d be no outrage. If he was doing a Russian accent, this article wouldn’t exist.

  19. Word Girl says:

    These comedians do this distasteful crap in desperation because they’re trying any way they can to make themselves relevant again. Ashton Kutcher, Nick Cannon, nobody is interested in these tired ass acts anymore–so the default is let’s jump to being offensive because there are so many racist asshats out there that are just like us, so they’ll pay to see my acts. When your career is over just now out gracefully. That includes you Joan Rivers with your distasteful jokes and fat shaming.

  20. badrockandroll says:

    The video is on TMZ (ick) under the banner “curries favour” – that, and the use of the word guri by the wedding emcee is at least as bad as Kutcher’s accent on a 1-10 offensive scale. At least he is not wearing dark skin.
    FWIW, at the two Sikh weddings I have been to, everyone, regardless of ethnicity, wore south asian dress and danced like they had been studying Bollywood videos and movies (well I know I had been!) so that everyone moved in exactly the same mirrored, choreographic way. It struck me as weird, but in the end, awfully beautiful.

    • me says:

      You mean “gori”? That means “white girl”. It is odd all the women dancing on stage were Caucasian dressed in Indian clothing doing Bollywood dances. Was there some point to that? Who was making fun of whom? It may have gone both ways if you really think about it. The Indians making fun of the gora/gori and the Caucasians making fun of the Indians. What an odd thing to do at a wedding. I have been to many Indian weddings, and everyone dances, everyone is dressed up, but by no means do the Caucasians go around talking in fake “Indian accents” nor do the Indians make fun of the Caucasians for wearing Indian clothes. I love seeing the Indian culture embraced by non-Indians, as long as they are being respectful.

    • badrockandroll says:

      Gauche to reply to one’s own comment, I know. But I am a little slow on my gossip grazing this week, and I just saw Tom Hanks wearing a prayer shawl and yarmulke while dancing at a wedding. I found that more offensive, since he didn’t appear to be trying to fit in with other guests (none of whom appeared to be wearing that garb) and it wasn’t to a Jewish or Hebrew song. perhaps there was a lot of alcohol at both of these weddings – why else would celebs, accustomed to paparazzi and to everyone having a cellphone camera, behave this way?

      • me says:

        Nothing wrong with replying to one’s own comment ! I’ve done it many times. I did see a pic of Tom Hanks wearing that but I don’t know the full story just yet.

      • Word Girl says:

        @badrockandroll,
        I was aked by my Indian friend to rock a Sari for a Indian party for her church. She is Hindi in faith.

      • badrockandroll says:

        @Wordgirl:
        I didn’t have the guts (ok: I had way too much gut) to wear a sari, but I wore a salwar kameez. It broke me out of my LBD habit, and honestly, I never felt so attractive and empowered and free in my whole life (besides, draw string pants at a wedding? WIN!).
        I wish that these outfits would take off in the west – so pretty and practical! And I didn’t feel like I was appropriating, even with my graceless dancing; rather, I felt that I was honouring and learning.
        And @me:
        Thanks, I’ve only heard the term gori, and I don’t have a good ear. I’ve only heard it directed at Indian actresses, and from that context, I thought it to be a very judgemental term about skin colour (which I thought was weird in a country full of skin-whitening cosmetics). I’m an anglo-Cdn who worked solo in India for a year, and as nice and helpful as my Delhi colleagues were, my knowledge is piecemeal, and probably not correct. I’d kill to go back though!

      • me says:

        You are correct…”gori” also means “white” or “fair skinned”. Yes, India has a HUGE obsession with light skin. They try to sell lightening cremes to both men and women there…Fructis is one of the brands that sells that crap there…Fair and Lovely is another big brand there. It’s ridiculous.

  21. me says:

    Is there a shortage of Indian actors? How on earth did Pop Chips and Ashton think that commercial would be funny? Not all Indians have THAT accent. This irks me to no end. I bet Ashton would never do black face, so why is brown face ok? Maybe he needs a history lesson and learn about the enslavement of millions of Indians by the British. Idiot.

  22. Mrs McCubbins says:

    People get offended by everything these days. Lighten up! It’s ridiculous that people cannot laugh at their culteral differences.

  23. lola says:

    Ugh i hate this racist POS

  24. silly you says:

    is there really a question mark after the word ‘racist’ up there? try, ‘racist EXCLAMATION POINT!!!!!!’.