Mumbai: Ranveer Singh is going places. Not all of them worth going to. His latest ugly run-in with protestors and feminists is for an ad for a garment brand where he was shown with a woman slung on his shoulder with the caption: "Don't Hold Back. Take Your Work Home."
After a furore over the sexist sales-pitch the ad has now been taken down and Ranveer Singh has issued the following apology: "It was important to give the brand the creative freedom while designing the campaign but I guess we got it wrong on one of those billboards. I am sorry this happened but it is a thing of past."
"We rectified it immediately by having the hoarding taken down as early as possible from over 30 cities overnight," the apology said.
However, a sense of muffled outrage runs through the film industry.
Woefully, no one from Ranveer's fraternity is willing to come out in the open to condemn the ad. Earlier, the same looking-away was evidenced when Salman Khan had compared his wrestling bouts in Sultan to rape.
Speaking about Ranveer, a female co-star said: "I am sure he didn't mean to insult women. Ranveer is one of the most cultured and chivalrous actors in Bollywood. He still believes in old-world courtesy, like getting up when a woman enters a room, opening doors for women. He would never insult a woman. Still, it is a shameful ad and I don't want to sound as if I am defending it, because I am not. So please don't quote me."
One of Ranveer's directors, a reputed top-notch name, comments: "He keeps getting into these embarrassing situations. There is an exhibitionist side to his personality which he needs to curb."
However, ad guru Prahlad Kakkar says there's nothing to get so worked up about.
"We as a country have lost our sense of humour, and the media is willing to make and sensationalize even a joke into an issue. Whether I found it funny or not is irrelevant, the fact that it was meant to be light-hearted is the point! It just shows people's intolerance to an alternative point of humour! So we should ban all jokes which cause heartburn to communities that can't take a joke at their expense!"
Interestingly, another ad guru Alyque Padamsee tried to explain how the ad would have been found to be harmless and humorous in the 1940s.
The panelists and the two female co-anchors pounced on Alyque.
When they wouldn't allow him to speak, he referred to them sarcastically as 'Arnab' the channel's star-anchor who quit recently.
But quite clearly, Alyque's brash sarcasm didn't work for this controversy.
An ad filmmaker-turned-feature-filmmaker said: "Alyque shouldn't defend the indefensible. We're living in dangerous times. Anything even remotely misogynistic invites wrath."