When B-Town stars drew flak for lending their name to a social cause
Following a controversy over Parineeti Chopra's appointment as brand ambassador for a Haryana government campaign, we look at instances of B-Town celebs who landed in unexpected controversies
They might have sincere intentions and be all too willing to use their star status to espouse a cause, but Bollywood celebs have often ended up stirring a hornet's nest and landed in unexpected controversies after associating themselves with social causes.
Parineeti Chopra has been named as the brand ambassador of the state's Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campiagn.
Earlier this week, Parineeti Chopra found herself at the receiving end after she attended an event of the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign with Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Gurgaon. The actress, who hails from Ambala, had been named the brand ambassador of the state's campaign by a government spokesperson. She even tweeted on Tuesday, saying: ""WHAT AN HONOUR! Brand ambassador for the "beti bachao, beti padhao" campaign in Haryana!! With the honourable CM :) (sic)."
However, Khattar's choice did not go down well with the rest. The state's Women and Child Development minister Kavita Jain claimed that the Haryana government had not appointed the actress and that she was supporting the campaign out of sheer personal interest and not charging any fee.
When Amitabh Bachchan did an ad shoot as brand ambassadorof Gujarat, political parties accused him of aligning with the then CM Narendra Modi
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij tweeted that the CM had kept him in the dark over Parineeti's appointment as brand ambassador. There was also buzz that the government should have signed on badminton champ Saina Nehwal instead as she hails from Hissar district of the state.
hitlist takes a look at similar incidents when actors garnered negative publicity for supporting social causes...
Dino Morea (right) launched an open-air gymnasium at Marine Drive on July 16, but it was pulled down by the BMC the very next day and then reinstalled after the civic authorities realised that all permissions were in place. Jacqueline Fernandez (centre) and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray had attended the opening
Quite recently, Amitabh Bachchan was embroiled in a controversy over endorsing Doordarshan's Kisan channel as reports claimed that he had taken R6.1 crore as part of the deal. Big B cleared the air by issuing a media statement in this regard. The veteran star felt his intention was misconstrued and he even asked for proof to show that he had taken money for the endorsement. Bachchan, in his statement, stated, "I have not entered into any contract with Doordarshan for endorsing their channel, DD Kisan, and neither have I received any money from them." He added that he worked with an advertising agency for the campaign of DD Kisan and did not receive any money from the agency either. He added, "I work pro bono on various issues and DD Kisan channel is one of them." The channel was recently launched to telecast information on agriculture and related subjects.
In the wake of the 2004 tsunami, Vivek Oberoi (above) adopted a Tamil Nadu village, but his gesture invited criticism from the then TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who called it a publicity stunt
Interestingly, the agency that Bachchan worked with for the campaign is the same one that filmmaker R Balki is associated with. Big B shares a warm, professional rapport with Balki and has worked in all his films — 'Cheeni Kum' (2007), Paa (2009) and 'Shamitabh' this year.
In 2010, Bachchan, as brand ambassador of Gujarat tourism, dressed up in full Kutchi splendour with a red turban, kohl-rimmed eyes and earrings for the ad shoot. But political parties felt that he was aligning with Narendra Modi, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat. The superstar then had to clarify that he was not endorsing Modi or Bharatiya Janata Party, but only what Gujarat had to offer as a tourism hub.
Aamir Khan's 2006 film 'Fanaa' was banned across Gujarat after he pledged his support to the Narmada Bachao Andolan
Fit and flak
Dino Morea might be missing from the big screen, but not on the fitness front. In his bid to get Mumbai in ship shape, the model-turned-actor has been installing open-air fitness stations across the city. He has had celebs like Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan and Bipasha Basu attend the inaugural events too. But his fitness station at Marine Drive, which was inaugurated by Jacqueline Fernandez, caused a political upheaval. Barely after its launch, civic authorities pulled it down as they thought it was illegal, and then put it back together on learning that necessary permission had been obtained for the purpose. Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray was also present at the inauguration and it has now turned into a Sena-NCP tussle as the latter feels Marine Drive is a place to relax, and encroachment of such kind is unacceptable.
In 2006, Aamir Khan found himself in hot waters over his comments about the Narmada dam project — he had demanded proper rehabilitation and compensation for the displaced farmers. Though a controversy erupted over his support to the Narmada Bachao campaign, the star refused to apologise for it. In response, the state government decided not to screen his film, Fanaa (2006). Apparently, the government was also upset over Aamir's remarks against the then chief minister Narendra Modi with regard to the 2002 Godhra riots.
When the devastating tsunami hit south India in 2004, Vivek Oberoi decided to adopt the village of Devanampattinam in Tamil Nadu, which was badly hit. The actor's gesture, however, did not cut ice with the then TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who criticised the actor for not doing anything tangible on ground zero and even labelled it a publicity stunt. She claimed that Oberoi had not spent his own money, but that of donors' to provide relief to survivors of the natural disaster. The actor then moved his Project Hope model village to Pattinachery near Pondicherry as Jayalalithaa's government failed to provide land on safe ground to build 300 tsunami-proof permanent houses for the fisherfolk.