News & Interviews

Bollywood Embarrassed By Its Nirav Modi Connection

Lisa Haydon, Priyanka Chopra and Siddharth  Malhotra are some  of  the Bollywood celebrities who find themselves in a sticky position vis-à-vis the Nirav Modi scam.

While  Priyanka Chopra is said to be contemplating legal action against Modi, for Siddharth Malhotra this is  an inopportune time to be caught  in a  scam-related crossfire, since the actor is  currently promoting his  new  film Aiyaary.

Says Siddharth’s co-star, “He has no answer to questions on why he was associated with Nirav Modi’s jewellery brand  by doing  an ad for  the  brand. How does one  answer such a  question. How is one supposed to check on a seemingly impeccable brand’s track record , let alone acertain where  it would be  going in the future.”

While Siddharth Malhotra and Priyanka Chopra have decided to cut all ties with the jewellery brand there is no end to the sniggers that the two actors  have to face for  lending the face to the now-disgraced  tycoon.

A filmmaker who doesn’t wish to be named , says there is  a sense of déjà vu in how Chopra and Malhotra’s visuals  from the Modi jewellery  are being aired  on  vatrious channels to prove their participation in  the diamond merchant’s  nefarious  transcations.

“We  saw a similar finger pointing  when Madhuri Dixit had  to  face the flak for a brand of noodles that she advertised.The moral and legal correctness of  a brand are  not the celebrity-model’s responsibility. Priyanka Chopra  will escape the  media inquisition  because she  is not in the country. But poor Siddharth Malhotra is getting a hard time as he’s promoting Aiyaary. He has to be vulnerable  to public scrutiny. And what can he say? ‘Yes, I endorsed Nirav Modi’s diamond brand. But I didn’t know he  was  a scamster’ Isn’t that  obvious?”

Ironically Malhotra plays an armyman determined to clean out corruption in  the army in Aiyaaary.

So should   a celebrity be held responsible for a product if it eventually turns  out to  be of dubious  legal, moral or political merit?

Says  Naseeruddin Shah, “It is advisable  for the model to know what he or  she is endorsing. But you can’t always know the truth about what you are selling. There are just too many opinions around.”

Says  Hansal Mehta: “I definitely feel that the celebrities should know what they’re endorsing. They should be held responsible for the claims made in the endorsement of a product.”

Adds   Baabul Suprio singer,MP in Narendra Modi’s government,  “It isn’t the celebrity-model’s duty to examine every product before promoting it, unless it is a known health hazard, like alcohol, cigarettes and gutka.”

 

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