Hollywood star David Duchovny has defended his Russian beer commercial after it ignited a firestorm on Twitter amid the growing tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine.
The 150-second commercial, which was posted on YouTube last week, shows the former "X-Files" actor plugging the Siberian Crown brew in a patriotic Russian ad full of historic Soviet cultural images.
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"I am as proud of my Russian, Ukrainian, Scottish, and Polish heritage as I am proud of my American heritage," he told TMZ
. "But being proud of one's ancestry is not a political statement on any current government or public policies."
However, he added, "In retrospect, and in light of recent tragic events, I can now see the potential for misunderstanding and hope people will understand."
In the ad, the 53-year-old "Californication" star says, "[The U.S. 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?"
The ad, with Russian sub-titles
, then shows a montage of all the different Russian lives Duchovny could have lived, including as an astronaut, a ballet instructor, a pop star, and a hockey player, complete with missing tooth.
After Duchovny is shown taking part in various Russian traditions, such as the banya or steam bath, he concludes by saying, "Being Russian, I'd have many things to be proud of."
The commercial resulted in an angry outcry on Twitter, with one tweeter saying that Duchovny was "un-American" while also attacking the "evil" Russian beer.
The Global Post
called it a "poorly-timed, nationalistic commercial for Russian beer," especially coming so soon after a Malaysian passenger plane was shot down in eastern Ukraine, purportedly by pro-Russian separatists using a Russian missile launcher.
The world news website also noted that in April, 2014, after Russia had invaded and annexed Crimea from Ukraine, Duchovny tweeted:
"That makes this commercial all the more confusing, and all the more intriguing," said the Post. "Regardless, you'll surely enjoy watching Duchovny dress up as a cosmonaut, a ballet choreographer, and an ice hockey player."
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