We Indians love our Bollywood as much as we love our food and the cricket. And how is our love and fascination measured? CELEBRITIES! Yes, we absolutely worship them to a point of utter blindness that we forgo their dark history or criminal background. Let’s take an example of the ample amount of celebs out there with blacklisted illegal charges, shall we?
Prime Example, Salman Khan, our very on “Sallu Bhai”, Who has a Hit and Run case, Black-buck hunting case, tweets on Yakub Memon and outrageous remarks on 26/11. These hard factors should have been enough for us to boycott his movies and the brands he endorses. Yet we love him like he is to receive a “hall-pass” for being the ultimate celebrity in Bollywood?
With his on-going criminal cases still pending, he is endorsing brands like Thumps-Up, Revital, Suzuki Motorcycles, Yatra.com, Dixcy Scott, Relaxo, Wheel, Splash etc. Why haven’t the so-called brands pulled out from letting such celebrities endorse? What happened to build a brand image?
What message do they give out to us when we allow them to go ahead with their lives unscathed? That if you are a celebrity and loved by the zillion masses you are above the law?!? What kind of a role model do they serve for the youth of the country?
How should such celebrities with criminal records be treated? Well, we have few good examples to learn from the West….
Exhibit A: Maria Sharapova, a five time grand slam winner who failed the drug test in January’s Australian Open and later taking full responsibility for it lost her contract with Nike, Porsche, and Tag Heuer. They suspended their ties with her like any responsible brand building company.
Exhibit B: Manny Pacquiao, an 8-division boxing champion, made comments against gay marriages which cost him his ties with Nike, The company claiming his comments to be “abhorrent” cut him loose from any known relationship with the company setting him as an example of severe consequence served by the brand that emphasises more on “Goodwill” and playing a “Role Model” to the world.
Few more examples are that of Kobe Bryant when he was charged with rape in 2003, Golfer Tiger woods with his extra-marital affairs controversies in 2009, and names like Justine Gatline, Marion Jones, Oscar Pistorius, NFL players Michael Vick, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, Football player Joey Barton, and cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Such harsh consequences instill a fear in the minds of an individual to behave responsibly and that law indeed is same for all which is what we Indians need to follow and understand when it comes to our beloved criminally charged celebrities.
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