Celebrity endorsements bring in a lot of money and recognition, but a few have gotten celebrities into problems. Stars are frequently embroiled in controversy when fans question their endorsements and the things they represent.
Recently, actor Akshay Kumar joined actors Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan in endorsing a pan masala brand. The actor, who is a fitness devotee, was mocked for his brand choice. Fans went belligerent on social media against the actor and mocked his choice of endorsement. After a lot of backlashes, Kumar finally took to social media to apologise and subsequently excuse himself from the brand’s association.
He wrote on Instagram, “I am sorry. I would like to apologise to you, all my fans and well-wishers. Your reaction over the past few days has deeply affected me. While I have not and will not endorse tobacco, I respect the outpouring of your feelings in light of my association. With all humility, I step back. I have decided to contribute the entire endorsement fee towards a worthy cause. The brand might continue airing the ads till the legal duration of the contract that is binding upon me, but I promise to be extremely mindful in making my future choices. In return I shall forever continue to ask for your love and wishes (sic)."
However, Akshay Kumar isn’t the first celeb to have fallen into a hot soup due to some brand endorsement. Here are some other actors who have also been at the receiving end of a massive backlash from their fans for endorsing some brand.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan was similarly chastised for appearing in a paan masala campaign. The seasoned actor stated that he was unaware of the surrogate advertising and immediately returned his endorsement money. Amitabh Bachchan’s team had shared a statement that read, “A few days after the commercial was aired, Mr Bachchan contacted the brand and stepped out of it last week. Upon checking why this sudden move - it was revealed that when Mr Bachchan became associated with the brand, he wasn’t aware that it falls under surrogate advertising. Mr Bachchan has terminated the contract with the Brand, has written to them his termination and has returned the money received for the promotion.”
Actress Madhuri Dixit landed in soup a few years ago when she appeared in an advertisement for a 2-minute noodle brand. The Uttarakhand Food and Drug Administration had written the actress a legal notice, requesting her to justify her statements regarding the 'nutrition value' of the food she had stated in the advertisement. PILs were also filed against Preity Zinta and Amitabh Bachchan for their promotion of this product.
Actor Ranveer Singh had appeared in a clothing company campaign. 'Don't hold back, Take your work home,' read the tagline and Singh was seen picking a girl on his shoulder. It was labelled as sexist, and the actor was thoroughly trolled on social media. He later apologised. “It was important to give the brand creative freedom while designing their campaign, but I guess we got it wrong on one of those billboards and I’m sorry this happened but it’s a thing of the past. We rectified it immediately by having that hoarding taken down ASAP from everywhere in over 30 cities overnight. I treat all women with the utmost respect both professionally and personally and would never do anything to disrespect them,” he had said in a statement.
Actress Alia Bhatt, who recently got married to actor Ranbir Kapoor, was seen in a wedding apparel commercial campaign for Manyavar a few months ago. The actress in the advertisement is seen criticising the practice of 'kanyadaan’, wondering whether she is something to give away. People on social media didn’t take this lightly and trolled the actress and the advertisement for offending religious sensibilities. The advertisement sparked an online debate and there were people who even appreciated the different take on rites and traditional customs. But there was a huge section of the audience that was grossly disappointed by the advertisement.
Actress Priyanka Chopra was the face of Nirav Modi jewellery brand, but once the jeweller was implicated in a multi-billion-dollar scam, the actress was massively trolled online for doing endorsing the brand. Soon afterwards, she severed relations with the brand. It was later revealed that Nirav Modi had fled the country and that he had engaged in fraudulent transactions worth around Rs 11,400 crore. Priyanka Chopra distanced herself from the brand’s business. Her spokesperson had told ANI then, “In light of recent allegations, Priyanka Chopra has chosen to terminate her contract with the Nirav Modi brand.”
Shah Rukh Khan
While actor Shah Rukh Khan still remains a member of the 'Vimal Universe’, the celebrity has also been chastised for his involvement with the Fair and Handsome fairness cream brand. Netizens trolled him for appearing in multiple adverts for a fairness lotion. Even though SRK has never openly talked about why he picked up the brand, his fans were mighty disappointed at him for choosing to promote a brand that allegedly equated success to skin colour. Not just SRK, but his daughter Suhana Khan was also ridiculed on social media when she discussed colourism in a post and disclosed that she had been branded ugly since she was 12-years-old. Netizens slammed her social media post as hypocritical.
Rashmika Mandanna And Vicky Kaushal
Actor Vicky Kaushal and actress Rashmika Mandanna starred in an underwear commercial for a popular brand last year. Kaushal is featured in the advertisement enjoying a yoga lesson with instructor Mandanna. Kaushal's shirt rises up as she instructs pupils to extend their hands to perform an asana, revealing his underwear strap. This excites her, and she begins counting slowly. Netizens criticised the commercial for objectifying Kaushal and labelled it cheap. Both celebrities were trolled massively for being involved in such a promotional tactic.