A day after TV news channels presented the exit poll for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi took to Twitter and shared a meme which featured his ex-flame Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Oberoi, who reportedly dated the former Miss World in early 2000s, on Monday posted a meme on Twitter with three panels, one featuring him, another with Salman Khan and a third with Aishwarya's husband Abhishek and daughter Aaradhya.
The meme, a take on the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the results of which will be declared on Thursday, was called "crass" and "distasteful".
"Sometimes what appears to be funny and harmless at first glance to one, may not be so to others. I have spent the last 10 years empowering more than 2000 underprivileged girls. I cant even think of being disrespectful to any woman ever," he tweeted.
"Even if one woman is offended by my reply to the meme, it calls for remedial action. Apologies.. tweet deleted," the actor added.
Responding to the controversy Oberoi told reporters that he had shared the meme because he found it funny and did not understand "why people are making a big deal about this."
"Someone sent me a creative meme where I was being made fun of. I just wrote, 'Ha ha,' and appreciated the other person. When someone makes fun of you, you should laugh and not take it so seriously.
"I even wrote there that there's nothing political about it. It's life and such things happen in life that you are with someone and then you move on in life," he said.
Social media was quick to blast the actor, who is currently promoting his upcoming film "PM Narendra Modi", over his "distasteful" tweet.
Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor called the meme "disgusting and classless"' in a tweet while Urmila Matondkar, who is the Congress candidate from Mumbai North, called out Oberoi for not having the courtesy of pulling down the tweet despite criticism.
The National Commission for Women sent a notice to Oberoi, asking him to give an explanation for sharing the "insulting" and "misogynist" tweet.