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Akshay Kumar’s road safety ad under fire for allegedly promoting dowry

Akshay Kumar’s road safety ad: Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi and Trinamool Congress' Saket Gokhale were among those who spoke against the video, a PSA posted on social media following the death of former Tata Sons chairperson Cyrus Mistry in a car crash earlier this month.

India TV Entertainment Desk Edited By: India TV Entertainment Desk New Delhi Published on: September 13, 2022 7:02 IST
Akshay Kumar
Image Source : TWITTER/@WATCH_BOLLYWOOD Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar’s new road safety ad is at the centre of a growing storm for allegedly promoting dowry. The minute-long clip is set during a 'bidaai' ceremony. The teary bride sits in the car and her father, also crying, sees her off. That's when a cop, played by Akshay Kumar, intervenes to tell the emotional father of the bride to send her and the groom in a car equipped with six airbags instead of their current vehicle equipped with just two.

The father agrees, and the next visual is the couple, all smiles, driving away in a car with six airbags -- graphically demonstrated.

Akshay Kumar's ad lands in controversy

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi and Trinamool Congress' Saket Gokhale were among those who spoke against the video, a public service advertisement (PSA) posted on social media following the death of former Tata Sons chairperson Cyrus Mistry in a car crash earlier this month.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had posted the video on Twitter in a bid to promote travelling in a vehicle with six airbags.

The ad comes a month after the release of Kumar's film "Raksha Bandhan", which focused on dowry culture, something the actor likened to "extortion" during its promotions.

How the mighty have fallen, asked a Twitter user. "WHAT an inglorious fall for this worm. Reduced to crawling like this. In an ad so stupid that it should never have crawled out of the WhatsApp sewer that it belonged to," he wrote on Twitter and described himself as a former Akshay Kumar fan.

Another Twitter user said the advertisement was "crass". "The ad about the bride's car having just 2 airbags starring Akshay kumar is crass. an obvious reference to Cyrus Mistry’s unfortunate accident. The subject of airbags can be treated with more sensitivity."

Kumar is the 'poster man' of several PSAs, including the anti-smoking and pro-sanitary napkin ad which is mandatorily played in cinema halls before the screening of all films that have smoking scenes. Also Read: Akshay Kumar’s hairdresser Milan Jadhav passes away, actor writes heartfelt note remembering him

In 2018, the actor also starred in another road safety ad -- the 'Sadak Suraksha Jeevan Raksha' campaign -- for the Transport Ministry. After severe social media backlash in April, Kumar had apologised to his fans for featuring in an advertising campaign of a paan masala brand and said he was withdrawing his association with the company. Also Read: Jiah Khan suicide case: HC dismisses her mother's plea seeking re-investigation

(With PTI inputs)

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