Esha Gupta on Alex Iwobi racism row: You can mock my ignorance, but don’t label me a racist

FP Staff

Feb 06, 2019 11:20:01 IST

Bollywood actress Esha Gupta, who faced flak for her comments on Nigerian footballer Alex Iwobi, issued an apology letter through social media saying that she "deeply regrets" it. Gupta found herself at the receiving end of social media backlash after she shared a screenshot of her WhatsApp conversation with a friend, in which Iwobi was referred to with offensive terms such as "gorilla faced" and "Neanderthal". Esha Gupta was criticised for her comments which was seen as "racist in nature."

In a recent exclusive interview to Bombay Times, Gupta clarified that the conversation transpired only because she is passionate about the sport and Arsenal club. She further said she did not make those comments, but mentioned benching of the player.

 Esha Gupta on Alex Iwobi racism row: You can mock my ignorance, but don’t label me a racist

Esha Gupta's Whatsapp conversation with friend which she later posted on her Instagram story. Source: File Image

When asked if laughing on the comments is as bad as partaking in name calling, she said "It was all about the frustration of the game, and my ‘haha’ was in response to that emotion. Call it dumbness, ignorance or me not thinking it through, it was a spur of the moment reaction. I really didn’t know the repercussions that the word (gorilla) could spark. In India, when we use the term (monkey for instance), we don’t look at it as a derogatory word."

Gupta further mentioned that she sent out a personal apology letter via email to Iwobi directly, as well as the club. She added she will be the last person to disrespect a sportsman on the basis of his colour.

Updated Date: Feb 06, 2019 11:20:01 IST