Aishwarya caught in racism scandal

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who is busy shooting for her comeback film, Jazbaa, has been caught in the middle of a scandal of sorts. The diva had shot for an advertisement of a jewellery brand that she endorses but little did she realise it would get her into trouble.
An open letter was written to her which explains why the ad was so wrong.

Here are some excerpts from the letter:

Dear Mrs Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,
We write to draw your attention to a full-page advertisement for Kalyan Jewellers in which you feature that appeared in The Hindu (Delhi edition) on April 17, 2015. In the advertisement you appear to be representing aristocracy from a bygone era – bejewelled, poised and relaxing while an obviously underage slave-child, very dark and emaciated, struggles to hold an oversize umbrella over your head. We wish to convey our dismay at the concept of this advertisement, and that you have, perhaps unthinkingly, associated with such a regressive portrayal of a child to sell a product. While advertisers routinely use fantasy images to sell products, they must surely desist from using images that condone, legitimise, normalise, or build desirable fantasy around slavery or servitude of any kind, including child slavery or child servitude. Further, the extremely fair colour of your skin (as projected in the advertisement) contrasted with the black skin of the slave-boy is obviously a deliberate "creative" juxtaposition by the advertising agency, and insidiously racist. The genealogy of this image can be traced back to 17th and 18th century colonial European portraits of white aristocracy, depicting women being waited upon by their black "servants". Today, many national and international movements are struggling to change at least the public culture that normalises child labour, a struggle that the Nobel committee has also recognised. We, therefore, hope you agree that this sort of advertisement – a romaticisation of child servitude to feed into elite fantasies – is extremely objectionable and avoidable.

The letter further also states that they have sent a similar letter to the jewellery brand as well.
However, Aishwarya's spokesperson was quick to reply to this open letter.

The official statement from Mrs Bachchan's team is as follows:
Dear, Farah Naqvi, Nisha Agrawal, Enakshi Ganguly , Bharti Ali, Madhu Mehra, Shantha Sinha, Harsh Mander and Mridula Bajaj, On the onset we would like to thank you on drawing our attention to the observation of the perception of the advertisement. Here is an attachment of the shot taken by somebody during the shoot. The final layout of the ad is entirely the prerogative of the creative team for a brand. However shall forward your article as a viewpoint that can be taken into consideration by the creative team of professional working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again....

Tag: aishwarya rai bachchan, aishwarya rai ad, aishwarya rai kalyan jewellers, aishwarya rai, aishwarya caught in racism scandal

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