Abhay Deol takes aim at Bollywood celebs who endorse fairness creams; slams racist mindset
Abhay Deol targeted ads in which stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Vidya Balan, Sonam Kapoor, John Abraham, Sidharth Malhotra, Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ileana D'Cruz had appeared, promoting various brands of fairness creams
Actor Abhay Deol is the latest to wade into the racism row that was triggered by BJP leader Tarun Vijay's comments about the spate of attacks against African students in India.
Attempting to explain away the attacks as not being racially motivated, Vijay caused a furore in Parliament when he said, “If we were racists, why would we have the entire South which is, you know completely inhabited by Tamilians in Tamil Nadu, you know Kerala, you know Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh…why do we live with them? We have blacks, black people around us…”
Vijay's remarks, following close on the heels of independent incidents in which African students were beaten up in the Delhi and Greater Noida region, had sparked off much debate around the ways in which racism manifests in India and the discrimination against people on the basis of their skin colour.
This 'hypocritical mindset' was highlighted on social media, when several users posted photos of a leading newspaper's front page, which had a report on the racism row and an ad for a skin whitening cream running side by side.
Now, Abhay Deol has also taken to task his peers who endorse these skin whitening creams.
Deol posted ads in which stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Vidya Balan, Sonam Kapoor, John Abraham, Sidharth Malhotra, Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ileana D'Cruz had appeared, promoting various brands of fairness creams.
"We are not a racist country! I will prove it to you," Deol wrote on his Facebook page, before sharing the ads mentioned.
When he was asked why he had chosen to post about so many of his colleagues' ads, Deol replied: "(Because) one ad alone did not illustrate the fact that we are bombarded with this notion everyday and everywhere."
"There's a lot more of these campaigns that are blatantly, and sometimes subtly, selling you the idea that whiter skin is better than darker skin. No one at the top of their game in any field is going to tell you that it is demeaning, false, and racist. You have to see that for yourself. You have to stop buying into the idea that a particular shade is better than others. Unfortunately if you look at matrimonial ads you will see how entrenched in our psyche this belief is. We even use the word 'dusk(y)' to describe the colour of someone's skin! While an individual may not be able to change this attitude in his/her community, he/she can at least start with the family," Deol wrote in his post, before lauding the efforts of celebrities like Nandita Das in attempting to change that mindset.
He also acknowledged peers like Kangana Ranaut, Ranbir Kapoor and Randeep Hooda for being among the few Bollywood celebrities who have refused to endorse fairness creams.
"Not everyone in my industry is irresponsible," Deol said.
Esther Bejarano had earlier said that music helped keep her alive in the notorious German Nazi death camp in occupied Poland and during the years after the Holocaust.
Euro 2020: England boss Gareth Southgate condemns racist abuse against Marcus Rashford and two others as ‘unforgivable’
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were the victims of a stream of abuse on Twitter and Instagram following the 3-2 shoot-out loss at Wembley.
Marcus Rashford was one of the players who were subject to online abuse on social media with racist remarks following England's loss to Italy in Euro 2020 final.