NEW DELHI: Bollywood celebrities including Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Disha Patani were trolled on social media platforms as they condemned the death of George Floyd in the US and stood for #BlackLivesMatter, even when they were part of fairness cream endorsements in the past.
Chopra, who endorsed a Garnier skin lightening cream, said there is much work to be done and it needs to start at an individual level on a global scale. “We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves and end this hate. End this race war here in the US and around the world. Wherever you live, whatever your circumstances, no one deserves to die, especially at the hands of another because of their skin colour," Chopra wrote on social media platforms.
Kapoor, who has been the face of Loreal’s lightening whitening day cream, put up a story on Instagram to say, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor," quoting Desmond Tutu.
Padukone and Patani, faces for Garnier and Pond’s, respectively, also expressed support towards the campaign to end racism, a move that critics have referred to as ‘selective activism.’
“It's not that their views can't change or that they shouldn't speak up for what they want, it's about selective and performative activism especially when they have at some point propagated a colourist attitude in their own country," a user wrote on Twitter.
“It doesn't sit right with me that back home one promotes fairness creams, while speaking about how all colours are beautiful. It’s opportunistic," she added.
“Just another privileged Indian making money selling fairness cream on one hand and protesting racism on the other hand. Hypocrisy died a million deaths here," another user wrote.
Besides earning from fairness cream endorsements, celebrities have also been criticised for only speaking up against atrocities on foreign soil and not taking a stand on troubles in their own country such as protests against the Constitution Amendment Act, 2019, (CAA) or death of minorities due to communal violence.
“If you’re a public figure, try and follow your spontaneity sometimes instead of the balanced advice given to you. I promise you following your instinct will have a journey of its own and branding yourself is too important to leave to those PR guys," stand-up comic Kunal Kamra wrote.