Punjab CM criticises 1917 star Laurence Fox over 'forcing diversity' remark; actor issues apology to Sikh community
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh advised 1917 actor Laurence Fox to familiarise himself with military history after the actor stated a particular scene in Sam Mendes' film was 'forcing diversity' on viewers by showing a Sikh soldier,
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday, 24 January, dismissed British actor Laurence Fox's remarks on diversity as "bunkum" (rubbish). He also advised Fox to familiarise himself with military history, after the actor said a particular scene in Sam Mendes' 1917 was "forcing diversity” on viewers by showing a Sikh soldier, as per an Indian Express report.
“This is an actor. What does he know about war history? He is talking bunkum and should read history,” Singh told the publication. He added that the Indian troops, which arrived in Europe in 1914, played an important role in preventing a military disaster. He went onto say that two divisions went from India – the Third Lahore Division, and the Seventh Meerut Division. His regiment belonged to the Jalandhar Brigade, which consisted of as many as "129 Baluchis, 47 Sikhs and 15 Sikhs (sic)."
Fox's statement has received widespread flak from Indians and Sikhs living in the UK. Amid the ire over his remark, the actor took to Twitter to issue an apology to the Sikh community. He wrote that he was clumsy about how he expressed his opinion on the matter.
Check out his tweet here
Fellow humans who are #Sikhs
I am as moved by the sacrifices your relatives made as I am by the loss of all those who die in war, whatever creed or colour.
Please accept my apology for being clumsy in the way I have expressed myself over this matter in recent days.
— LAURENCE FOX (@LozzaFox) January 23, 2020
Speaking at a podcast, Fox had earlier said, "It's very heightened awareness of the colour of someone's skin because of the oddness in the casting. Even in 1917, they've done it with a Sikh soldier, which is great, it's brilliant, but you're suddenly aware there were Sikhs fighting in this war. And you're like 'OK, you're now diverting me away from what the story is'."
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