There are many Bollywood personalities who have major fan following even internationally. The audience abroad love the typical Bollywood masala and are key contributors to these celebs gaining widespread acclaim. Some Bollywood celebs like Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan even have wax statues in Madame Tussauds Museum!
Despite their popularity and international fame, some Bollywood personalities have faced unfortunate cases of racism. Here’s a look at some of these incidents:
1. Priyanka Chopra – called “Brownie”
Actress Priyanka Chopra, hasn’t always had people drooling over her. The 35-year-old ‘Quantico‘ actress had her share of racist encounters during her student years in America. Pee Cee was referred as “Brownie” by her fellow students.
Although she played the leading role in ‘Quantico’, she further stated, “We all don’t smell of curry. We all are not ugly-looking nerds.”
2. Shah Rukh Khan – detained twice in American airports!
The Badshah or King Khan as Shah Rukh Khan is popularly called, is a figure you can’t miss right? Wrong! Not when it comes to international airports. Despite ruling the industry over 20 years, Shah Rukh was once detained in New York airport in 2012, and then once again detained in 2016 at Los Angeles airport because of his surname.
Security personnel held Mr Khan when his name cropped up on a computerised alert list. Americans later dully apologised for the ‘racist situation’.
3. Sonam Kapoor Ahuja – called “brown skin”
One of the Bollywood personalities you never thought will enter this list is Sonam Kapoor Ahuja! Believe it or not, Sonam has also encountered “brown skin” racists comments on several occasions. Sonam herself admitted once at an event, “They see brown skin and judge you already.”
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In spite of being a regular face at the Cannes Film Festival, Sonam said that whenever she goes abroad, “People already have their perception, like we are always in parda (veiled) or our parents are very conservative.”
4. Shilpa Shetty – faced racism at Celebrity Big Brother stint
You won’t believe, but Shilpa Shetty too, faced racism when she participated in the reality TV show, Celebrity Big Brother, in 2007. The whole episode was captured live when her housemates Jade Goody, Jo O’Meara, and Danielle Lloyd, ridiculed Shilpa for her heavy Indian accent.
Isn’t it surprising that Bollywood personalities like Shilpa faced racism but also was publicly humiliated after being called a “dog”. Even after the unfortunate incident, she actually went on to win that season!
5. Freida Pinto – mocked for her “dark skin”
The 33-year-old Freida Pinto is also one of the Bollywood personalities who underwent humiliation because of their “dark skin”. The actress who won a million hearts in 2008 (including Dev Patel) with her performance in Slumdog Millionaire, also faced racism.
Despite being an Indian, Bollywood didn’t welcome Freida because of her skin tone. Freida referred Bollywood as having obsession with fair skin.
We never expected some of the big names to come up in this list of racist encounters. This attitude towards Indians should stop. What are your thought? Tell us in the comments.