Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's ad caught in a racism row!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
 Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looks gorgeous in this print Ad of a jewellery brand that she endorses. However, it is not as great as it looks, apparently. This was pointed out to Aishwarya in an open letter, which explains how and why this Ad is so very wrong.
Excerpts from the open letter:
Dear Mrs Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,
We write to draw your attention to a full-page advertisement for Kalyan Jewellers in which you feature that appeared in The Hindu (Delhi edition) on April 17, 2015. In the advertisement you appear to be representing aristocracy from a bygone era – bejewelled, poised and relaxing while an obviously underage slave-child, very dark and emaciated, struggles to hold an oversize umbrella over your head.
We wish to convey our dismay at the concept of this advertisement, and that you have, perhaps unthinkingly, associated with such a regressive portrayal of a child to sell a product. While advertisers routinely use fantasy images to sell products, they must surely desist from using images that condone, legitimise, normalise, or build desirable fantasy around slavery or servitude of any kind, including child slavery or child servitude. Further, the extremely fair colour of your skin (as projected in the advertisement) contrasted with the black skin of the slave-boy is obviously a deliberate "creative" juxtaposition by the advertising agency, and insidiously racist. The genealogy of this image can be traced back to 17th and 18th century colonial European portraits of white aristocracy, depicting women being waited upon by their black "servants".

Today, many national and international movements are struggling to change at least the public culture that normalises child labour, a struggle that the Nobel committee has also recognised. We, therefore, hope you agree that this sort of advertisement – a romaticisation of child servitude to feed into elite fantasies – is extremely objectionable and avoidable.
The letter also goes on to say that they have sent a similar correspondence to the jewellery brand as well.
Aishwarya's spokesperson was quick to respond to this mail. The official statement from Mrs Bachchan's team is as follows"
Dear Farah Naqvi, Nisha Agrawal, Enakshi Ganguly , Bharti Ali, Madhu Mehra, Shantha Sinha, Harsh Mander and Mridula Bajaj, On the onset we would like to thank you on drawing our attention to the observation of the perception of the advertisement. Here is an attachment of the shot taken by somebody during the shoot. The final layout of the ad is entirely the prerogative of the creative team for a brand. However shall forward your article as a viewpoint that can be taken into consideration by the creative team of professional working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again....

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