Today among the audience and the public shadeism and racism even as thinly veiled jokes may not pass. With shadeism and racism being protested, new stories only add to the growing cause for concern. When it's a public personality, it becomes an even bigger concern because of the influence that person commands.
Shanthipriya recently spoke in an interview with Navbharat Times about her experience in Bollywood. The actress shared the screen with Akshay Kumar in Saugandh and Ikke Pe Ikka. She had recounted the backlash she fashed for being dark-skinned, and Akshay too had made fun of her at one point. The actress clarified that even if the joke stayed with her for a while, she knew he was only being playful.
Akshay Kumar's misplaced shadiest joke on Shanthipriya
Shadeism isn't a thing of the past, with all the backlash discrimination based on colour of one's skin is getting. It's a thing of the past, the present and hopefully will be eradicated before it becomes the future. Bollywood has been known to be biased on the basis of colour with numerous personal experiences actresses have faced.
Shanthipriya in a recent interview with Navbharat Times has said about working in Bollywood, "in the '90s, when I came to work in Bollywood, my dark colour became my biggest enemy." She says her skin colour became the point of focus for crew members, and how they would belittle her skin colour for not matching the heroes'. She recalled that it became the main focus while she couldn't work on improvising and bettering herself as an actor.
The actress had worked on Saugandh and Ikke Pe Ikka with Akshay Kumar, one of the biggest stars Bollywood has on offering today. However, she recalls an incident on the sets of Ikke Pe Ikka when the actor made fun of her, "Akshay joked about my knees looking darker than usual in front of the entire crew. He repeatedly said that there were blood clots in my knees and everyone had a good laugh at my cost. Even though it was a joke, I felt quite uncomfortable."
She added that it had hurt her and she had shed many a tear on the subject, she asserted that she isn't complaining but pointed out how a joke like that could hurt somebody and their confidence. Her interview went viral, as the incident was little known.
However, the actress did take to Twitter to clarify that she didn't hold any hard feelings towards Akshay Kumar, "I want to make it clear, making those comments were @akshaykumar's way of being playful with me. Even though his comments stayed with me for a while, I believe he didn't mean to hurt me or cause me distress. I adore all of his work and wish him love & luck for his future!"