Fairness cream debate: Bollywood celebs react

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Abhay Deol’s tirade against Bollywood celebrities endorsing fairness creams sparked off a debate across the country, whether these products propagate the notion of superiority based on a person’s skin colour. Abhay’s posts on Facebook highlighted that a number of Bollywood superstars endorse fairness products in one way or another. His posts received support from his fans, the general public alike, and now they have generated reactions from some of the targeted celebrities. Here’s what they had to say.
‘Kaabil’ actress Yami Gautam is a regular on TV screens with her fairness cream endorsements. She recently reacted to the entire debate saying that she will not choose her endorsements based on someone else’s ideology and that she has her own mind to make her decisions. She also revealed that she has asked the brand to revamp their marketing strategy where they don’t demean people with darker complexions. Yami reiterated that she has taken the debate in a positive spirit, as it has pushed brands to re-think their advertising message.
Priyanka Chopra recently opened up about endorsing a fairness cream many years ago. She said that she endorsed a fairness product for 12 months, but felt really “off” after her stint as a brand ambassador. It was then that she decided to never endorse such products. She said that she got swayed into promoting the product until she realized they made her feel like she did as a kid, who would try out all kinds of products to achieve a lighter skin tone.
Kangana Ranaut had reportedly rejected an offer from a fairness brand even though she was allegedly offered Rs 2 crore. Stating the reason for turning down the offer, she said, “Ever since I was a kid, I have never understood the concept of fairness. Especially, in such a case, as a celebrity, what kind of an example would I be setting for younger people? I have no regrets about turning this offer down. As a public figure, I have responsibilities.”
Jacqueline Fernandez, who featured in a skin whitening cream advertisement last year, said that she limits her opinion to the view that discrimination on the basis of colour is unjustified and that as a star, she will always stand against it. At an event, she also spoke about the responsibility that celebrities hold for their popularity. She added that she was against discrimination of any kind and that she does not want this generation growing up in a society where people are judged on the basis of their color.
Saif Ali Khan has also endorsed a few fairness products. The ‘Rangoon’ actor offered his take on the entire debate saying that he assumed everyone who endorses such products, knows that it is wrong and that they must have wished they had taken a stand against endorsing it. However, he admitted that if they wouldn’t sell it, someone else would. He demanded that a law prohibiting the sale of such products should be implemented.

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