Akshay Kumar joins the league of Priyanka Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan as he expresses regret over endorsing problematic brand
Akshay Kumar has backed out of his contract with Vimal days after severe backlash over his ad for the pan masala brand. Meet others who regretted their problematic endorsements.
Akshay Kumar is the latest addition to the long list of Bollywood actors to have faced backlash over the kind of product they endorse. The actor’s ad for Vimal has been a big subject of discussion on social media this week and the Bollywood star has now taken responsibility and decided not associate with the brand for future endorsements.
While trolling and backlash and part and parcel of the social media universe, Akshay is one of the few actors who stepped up and admitted they is in the wrong. From contentious fairness cream ads to pan masala brands here are stars who learned their lessons after associating with problematic ads.
Priyanka Chopra – A global iconic today, who millions of fans look up to Priyanka in the early days of her career did endorse skin whitening and fairness cream ads like many of her contemporaries from Bollywood.
However, in retrospect the actress did come to accept that she has faced insecurities as a teen due to her skin colour and even used some of these fairness creams when she was very young. In an interview with Vogue India, the actress admitted that it was wrong of her to have endorsed skin lightening product and said, “When I was an actor, around my early twenties, I did a commercial for a skin-lightening cream. I was playing that girl with insecurities. And when I saw it, I was like, "Oh s***. What did I do?" I started talking about being proud of the way I looked. I actually like my skin tone.”
Pierce Brosnan – The James Bond actor faced severe backlash after he featured in a surrogate ad for pan masala brand. The actor later issued a statement clarifying he was approached saying that the product he was promoting was a ‘mouth freshener/ tooth whitener’ and it wasn’t disclosed to him the hazardous impact on health that product had. He even replied to a notice sent to him by the Delhi government promising compliance after stating he was cheated by the brand.
Brosnan issued a statement expressing his regret and said, “As a man who has spent decades championing women’s healthcare and environmental protection, I was distressed to learn of Pan Bahar’s unauthorised and deceptive use of my image to endorse their range of pan masala products. I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one’s health,” a part of his statement read.
Amitabh Bachchan – The mega star faced criticism for an ad he did from the pan masala brand Kamala Pasand. The Bollywood actor was appealed to by the National Organization for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) last year post which he terminated his contract with the company and even returned the fee he had charged for the advertisement.
A statement was issued by the actor’s team which informed that he wasn’t aware the ad fall in the category of surrogate advertising,
Dia Mirza – A staunch environmental activist and actor Dia Mirza often uses her social media to voice her support for movements which make the world a better place. However, like several other actress she too has in the past promoted a skin lightening product for a brand.
The actress did make her regret evident later as she hailed a government draft proposing a ban on fairness cream ads. Talking about it she told Hindustan Times, “As we evolve in our understanding of what kind of advertising perpetuates stereotypes, gender discrimination and falsehoods, we must collectively take responsibility to ensure this ends.”
Akshay Kumar – The Bollywood star who has been associated with many films propagating social causes recently joined Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan in an ad for pan masala brand Vimal. Not only did it cause an uproar on social media, an old video of Akshay went viral where he had said that he wouldn’t ever endorse a pan masala brand.
Bearing the backlash in mind, Akshay issued a statement announcing the termination of his contract with the brand and also pledged the money he earned for it to a social cause.
In his statement he said, “I would like to apologise to you, all my fans and well-wishers. Your reaction over the past few days has deeply affected me. While I have not and will not endorse tobacco, I respect the outpouring of your feelings in light of my association with Vimal Elaichi. With all humility, I step back. I have decided to contribute the entire endorsement fee towards a worthy cause.”
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