Many Indian film stars have spoken about the 'Black Lives Matter' movement in the US after the police killing of an African American. However, many of these celebs are being called out for their association with skin lightening products.
Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Disha Patani, and Tamannaah Bhatia have all weighed in on the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and they have all acted in fairness cream ads.
Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Yami Gautam, Esha Deol, John Abraham, etc. have acted in fairness cream ads that were slammed by different sections for propagating racism and stereotypical beauty standards.
The advertisement particularly showed a dark-skinned version of the celebrities as "unhappy" and they look happier as they become fairer.
Bollywood actor Abhay Deol also slammed the celebrities for endorsing fairness products.
On the other hand, there are several stars who have rejected deals from major companies because they don't want to propagate the wrong idea about beauty. Here are some of the stars who turned down fairness cream brands despite the crores offered to them.
South Indian actress spoke out last year about rejecting a fairness brand deal which was worth Rs 2 crore. She said that she would rather make people happy than using the money she gets from such a deal. She also slammed the stereotypical beauty standards.
'MS Dhoni' actor turned down a deal worth Rs 15 crores. He said that he will not endorse the idea that one skin tone is better than the other and that it is every actor's duty not to send out a wrong message.
At the peak of his career in 2011, Kapoor said that he chose not to endorse fairness products as it will deepen racism in Indian people's mindsets.
Kangana is one of the most vocal celebrities against the racism propagated by the fairness cream products. She rejected a Rs 2 crore worth deal saying that it will give wrong ideas to young people in India. She added that as a public figure it was her responsibility to turn down products that may propagate a wrong idea to youngsters.
'Highway' said that beauty is never about fairness after turning down a fairness product for men. He added that he will never understand the obsession with fair skin.
Though she endorses an anti-ageing brand, she said that she will never promote fairness creams. Kalki said that dark skin should be celebrated as a beauty standard around the world. She also called out society's obsession with fairness as a beauty standard.
In an interview in 2015, Anushka said that she will never endorse anything that propagates wrong ideas like racism and sexism among the youngsters. She also called society's obsession with fairness as a "social taboo." She will never endorse anything that suggests "this is better than the other."
Swara is one of the most vocal dissenters from Bollywood who is not afraid of speaking her mind. She made up her mind about doing fairness cream brands. She rejected a fairness cream brand in 2015 by calling it regressive and that it "plants the seed of racism in youngsters."
Actress Banita Sandhu, who became famous with her role in 'Adithya Varma', said that when she was asked if there anything she will never endorse, her response was fairness cream products due to the racist narrative attached to it.
Pakistan national actress revealed that she had been refusing fairness cream brands since she was VJ till today. She assured that she will never endorse a fairness brand. She made her debut in Bollywood with the 2017 film 'Raees' opposite Shah Rukh Khan.
Taapsee Pannu was one of the Bollywood celebrities who supported the government’s proposal to ban fairness cream products and advertisements this year. She said that she will never endorse fairness as a beauty standard.
Fairness creams were included in the Health and Family Welfare Ministry as an amendment to the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements Act, 1954).