Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood’s biggest star and corporate India’s most ubiquitous brand ambassador, is coming under pressure to abandon his controversial endorsement of a men’s skin-lightening cream.
Television commercials for Fair and Handsome, airing in August, show Mr Khan (or “SRK”) lauding a product that many see as entrenching discrimination based on skin colour by encouraging people to bleach themselves a lighter hue.
…Mr Khan urges a dark-complexioned and depressed-looking young man, struggling to attract female attention, to stop using skin-lightening products designed for women.
“Why are you secretly using a cream for girls?” Mr Khan asks. “Their skin is soft. Yours is rough and tough.” Several shades whiter and visibly more self-confident by the end of the 40-second commercial, the young man duly snares the girl of his dreams.
The commercial, of course, is up for all to see on YouTube –
Now is it me or does the pseudo-blackfaced dude in the commercial remind anyone of the lead in that paragon of awful 80s movies, Soul Man?
As with the rapidly-becoming-infamous 1000+ comments “Is Dating White Right?” post a few weeks ago, a topic like this is a veritable lightning rod… So, perhaps I should just step out of the way and let the bullets fly.
I will however, point mutineer’s at Manish’s nearly-as-infamous original post on Fair & Handsome from a few years ago. At 200+ comments, it was one of the most trafficked posts of its time. However, many of us remember it more for its, dare I say, eyebrow-raising concluding note.