There's a long list of celebrities doing goofy foreign commercials for a quick paycheck—Angelina Jolie has hawked Japanese cosmetics, Snoop Dogg has sung in German for VybeMobil, and most recently Bruce Willis shot a series of awkward car commercials for Daihatsu—but this newest instance might be the worst, more inappropriate than funny.
A new spot for the beer company Siberian Crown starring David Duchovny was uploaded to YouTube on Friday, and the timing is not great, to say the least. "This is the country where I was born and raised. But there is another country, where I got my family name from. And sometimes I wonder: What if things turned out differently? What if I were Russian?" Duchovny muses.
The ad features over two minutes of Duchovny proudly doing vaguely Russian stuff. He's an astronaut, he teaches ballet, he plays hockey. At the end he states, "I found out that being Russian, I’d have many things to be proud of." Like Siberian Crown.
A year ago, David Duchovny filming an beer ad that promotes Russian nostalgia and nationalism wouldn't have really caused waves, but this commercial came out one day after the U.S. State Department and Pentagon publicly charged that Russian military forces opened fire on Ukrainian military near the border. And last Monday, President Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to use his influence in the aftermath of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
What's even weirder—Duchovny isn't even Russian. A few months ago the actor tweeted that he had been mistaken about his roots:
I grew up thinking I was Russian only to find recently that I've been Ukrainian all along. Never too late to change.— David Duchovny (@davidduchovny) April 4, 2014
All in all this Siberian Crown ad is just pretty messy, and is definitely causing more trouble than Duchovny expected.