Race and Ethnicity in Advertising


Ashton Kutcher as an Indian character named Raj in an ad for Popchips that was pulled in 2012

“ The history of advertising in the United States is replete with characterizations that responded to and reinforced the preconceived image that many White Americans apparently had of Blacks, Arabs, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans. (Wilson II, C., Gutierrez, F., Chao, L., 2013, p 160)

While I was watching Master of None on Netflix, a clip of this commercial played and I ended up looking it up for myself. This commercial/advertisement was based on the stereotypical Indian man. The role was not only distastefully “brown-faced” by an actor who wasn’t Indian, but also included Indian folk music, mockery costume, and a disturbing accent.

Watch the Ad here.


One thought on “Race and Ethnicity in Advertising

  1. I watched this episode too! It was a real eye-opener of the representations of Indians in the media. All roles for them are always stereotypes as portrayed by Aziz. Sadly, this is not limited to just Indians, but all minority races as well. Hopefully, one day there can be more than one Indian man in the new “friends-esque” sitcom!


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