At least Charlie Sheen was in Platoon….
As you may have heard by now, professional moron Ashton Kutcher drew the ire of many this week, for appearing in ad for PopChips in which he plays a bunch of one-dimensional characters representing different nationalities. One is an apparent parody of Russell Brand, while another is a stereotypical Indian based on no one particular.
Anyway, there’s been a lot about whether or not the latter character is racist. At first I thought it was, but on further review, that was probably a bit excessive. Don’t get me wrong, it was cliched and unfunny, but the goal to wasn’t to specifcally mock Indian people, it was about mocking everyone. It was probably still ill-advised, and not funny, but racist is going a bit far. But it wasn’t funny.
I still think Ashton Kutcher is a hopelessly annoying person who is not the slightest bit funny, but before we get to that, I will state that I don’t think anytime a white person puts on makeup to portray a person of another race, that makes it automatically racist. Billy Crystal had been doing his Sammy Davis, Jr. impression for years, and most of us agreed that it was corny, but at least a little bit funny. Then, after he did it at the Oscars this year, everyone freaked out and suddenly decided that what he was doing was the exact same thing as Amos and Andy. Which was ridiculous. He wasn’t playing a black caricature, he was playing a black person (also, the fact that Crystal and Davis are both Jewish, and the fact that it was clearly a tribute and not a mockery seemed completely irrelevant to most knee-jerky fake-outraged bloggers). You can make the case that because of the history of blackface, it’s always problematic to do it, or that what Crystal was doing wasn’t subversive enough to justify it, and those would be legitimate arguments, but saying the act was flat-out racist seemed to be going a bit too far. Admittedly, I’m a white person who has too much privilege to completely understand these things, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but it really did seem excessive.
Okay, back to Kutcher. Unlike Billy Crystal, Kutcher has never made me laugh once in his life. Not when playing the good-looking moron on “That 70s Show,” not when he and Sean William Scott were unable to locate their automobile, not when he paraded around on “Punk’d” yelling, “OMG, Justin Timblerlake, I totally made you think you were poor! PSYCH!” And not during his beyond pathetic attempt to revive the corpse of “Two And A Half Men” by playing an older, richer version of his 70s show character. Not once.
So, why is he famous? The obvious answer is because he’s good looking, but come on now, there are plenty of male models who are just as sculpted as he is, and they’re kind enough to flex their muscles and pout for the camera and get on with their lives, not once pretending to be capable of inducing laughter.
So, then, is Ashton Kutcher’s a-list fame warranted in any way? Maybe to teach some feminist lesson to guys about how annoying it is when someone is freakishly rich for no other reason than being attractive, but that’s about it. But really, we’ve learned our lesson. Plus, the second Demi Moore got a few wrinkles, he said fuck that shit, and started plowing through 20-year-olds like Bruce Smith through a particularly weak offensive line. In short, he’s useless, and he’s an asshole, and while I don’t think he was being racist, this was one more case him trying to make me laugh and failing.