Mumbai: Reacting to an open letter calling Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s new Kalyan Jewellers ad as ‘insidiously racist’, the actress’ publicist on Wednesday issued an image from the original shoot, saying the ‘final layout is the prerogative of the creative team of a brand’.
The publicist’s statement is addressed to Farah Naqvi, Nisha Agrawal, Enakshi Ganguly, Bharti Ali, Madhu Mehra, Shantha Sinha, Harsh Mander and Mridula Bajaj, who have signed an open letter posted on an online portal.
It reads: “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 professionals working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again.”
The statement comes after a letter titled “Open letter to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: This ad you figure in is insidiously racist”, takes on the former beauty queen for appearing “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”.
“As an influential member of the Indian film industry and a popular star with a large fan following, we trust that you wish to use your image in a manner that promotes progressive thought and action, and would not knowingly promote regressive images that are racist and go against child rights,” reads a part of the letter.
Aishwarya is the national ambassador of jewellery brand Kalyan Jewellers.