Joining the bandwagon of socially responsible actors, Esha Gupta has turned down a lucrative offer to promote a skin lightening product.
Insensitive marketing of fairness products in the sub-continent — and the trend of celebrities endorsing them — is a subject of debate.
A source says, "The brand was pretty keen to have Esha on board. They had conducted market research and found out that she would be suitable for their product’s campaign. Following a discussion with her team, the brand officials showed willingness to pay a hefty amount. But she refused outright."
Esha says, "Yes, I have rejected a brand deal. I won't endorse a fairness product because of the bias it promotes. According to these brands, fairness is proportionately related to confidence, marriage proposals, beauty, etc. My complexion has nothing to do with who I am. Trying to hint that not being fair is making you unsuccessful is wrong. I am beautiful the way I am, and so is everyone else."
Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham, Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif and Yami Gautam have endorsed skin lightening products. In fact, in reaction to SRK’s move, a Dark Is Beautiful campaign. Dusky actress Nandita Das champions the cause. Other celebrities against such promotion include Kangana Ranaut, Anushka Sharma, Chitrangada Singh and Ranbir Kapoor.