New Delhi: Actor Vivek Oberoi on Tuesday apologised for sharing a meme on Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's personal life after severe criticism on social media and elsewhere, but that cut little ice with a charity organisation that dropped him from a fund-raising event.
Oberoi, who received a notice from the National Commission for Women asking for an explanation for sharing the "insulting" and "misogynistic" tweet, also deleted the controversial post.
The actor on Monday shared a meme with three panels, one featuring him, another with Salman Khan and a third with Aishwarya's husband Abhishek and daughter Aaradhya.
The meme was a take on the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the results of which will be declared on Thursday.
"Sometimes what appears to be funny and harmless at first glance to one, may not be so to others. I have spent the last 10 years empowering more than 2000 underprivileged girls. I can't even think of being disrespectful to any woman ever," he tweeted.
"Even if one woman is offended by my reply to the meme, it calls for remedial action. Apologies.. Tweet deleted," the actor added.
But the Smile Foundation was unimpressed.
"In view of the recent development related to Mr Vivek Anand Oberoi's social media posts, Smile Foundation disassociates itself with the celebrity for the fundraising event on Odisha Fani Cyclone relief at DLF Promenade.
"We as an organisation stand for women empowerment and his statements are not in line with our belief statement," the organisation said in statement.
Social media users, including members of the film fraternity, blasted the actor for sharing something that was "distasteful" and "crass".
Oberoi, who is currently promoting a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was initially adamant that people were unnecessarily politicising the issue.
"Someone sent me a creative meme where I was being made fun of. I just wrote, 'Ha ha,' and appreciated the other person. When someone makes fun of you, you should laugh and not take it so seriously.
"I even wrote there that there's nothing political about it. It's life and such things happen in life that you are with someone and then you move on in life," he said soon after the controversy broke on Monday.
The U-turn came the following day.
Praising himself for working towards empowering 2,000 "underprivileged girls" in the last one decade, the actor said he could never thing of "being disrespectful to any woman ever" while issuing an apology.