Case in point, Ashton Kutcher‘s now infamous potato chip commercial where in one scene he appears as a brown-skinned “Bollywood” movie producer. This has raised… … the hackles of some in the Indian community. (hmmm… correct to the historical idiom, but “hackles” are the hairs on the back of a dog’s neck that rise when the dog gets angry. Indians may think me, yet another white person, is making some stereotype that Indians being angry are like dogs.) Wait… let’s try this all again….
“Case in point, Ashton Kutcher’s now infamous potato chip commercial where in one scene he appears as a brown-skinned “Bollywood” movie producer. This has raised… the ire… of Indian public opinion.” There.. that’s the ticket! And that’s my point. Isn’t this all a bit much? I mean, c’mon… are Indians being discriminated against in the wider society to a point that they feel intimidated or socially oppressed? Are Indians being victimized in some way?
Well, in fact, doesn’t Indian humor also include racial stereotyping? Now, I will admit, I am just a white guy and since our race is making fun of all the other races in some form or another we really have nothing to say about it all, I suppose, simply because “we’ve not walked a mile in their shoes”. Uh.. not sure what that might mean. Are Indians all struggling in some form with universal racial bigotry that we (white people) don’t understand their struggle?
Ok.. the chip company did the right thing.. they removed the “offensive” ad and apologized. You think they did that out of some compassion for having hurt feelings? Nope. They did that because it was good business sense to do so. It’s called crisis management and they did what any business should do… grovel a bit and move on to selling more product. Their goal is to sell product.. not offend people. Now.. what about that obvious “white racist SOB”, Mr. Kutcher? The Indian “community” (isn’t using that word itself some measure of stereotyping, suggesting that Indians all live together in the same location? Well, ya, it’s called India.) seems to think Mr. Kutcher should apologize. He likely will just to shut everyone up and continue in his career. But why is HIS apology necessary? He woke up one morning to the opportunity presented to him by his agent about making money doing a funny potato chip commercial. You think he read that script and thought, “Hot damn! Not only can I make money but I can also embarrass an entire race! Where do I sign?” Pu-leeeeze. It’s potato chips. It was camp humor at best. I am likely sure that some Indian commedian will use this in his material… an Indian portraying a white guy portraying an Indian who’s a Bollywood producer… and it will likely get laughs. But that’s ok because someone of the same race is making the stereotype. It’s like telling a Jewish joke always sounds funnier when told by another Jew… not by a non-Jew, because that will suggest anti-semitism. It’s ok for African-Americans to use the “N” word to each other… but that word better never be uttered by a white person, lest he be accused of complicity in the last 300 years of black oppression in this country.
“White people can’t dance” and “White people can’t jump”. Heck, I’m sure white people can’t do a lot of things other races can do better. But it doesn’t seem to bother our collective white “community”… at least not me. This political correctness has gotten way out of hand decades ago.
Remember the NBC TV show, Outsourced? It was cancelled after a season because it teetered on the edge (some will argue it toppled over the edge) of offensive stereotyping toward Indians. Hey.. reality check here. American businesses signed on to off- shore Indian/Pakistani tech and customer service support and it has become the bane of every citizen in America, regardless of race. I mean… are people pissed at their bank or cellphone company or utility that uses outsourced foreign customer service support? Nope. They are pissed at the person on the other end of the phone who is trying to communicate with us in broken English and has NO idea what our problem is, nor the authority to fix it. When something that significant happens there are going to be stereotypes created. As long as no one is discriminating against you or oppressing your existance… laugh along and deal with it. If you truly don’t like it then lead the way to change it. But stop already with all the political correctness.
Mr. Kutcher is likely not a racist so why should he apologize for reading a script he thought was acceptable… it was simply a potato ship commercial, folks.
I am tired of being socially stereotyped as being a “racist” white by other races who say they are offended because us whites are stereotyping them.
Where does it stop.