Vivek Oberoi has deleted the offensive meme he had retweeted on May 20 that made fun of his ex-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, her husband Abhishek Bachchan, actor Salman Khan and Vivek himself. The tweet also had a picture of Aaradhya Bachchan, the daughter of Abhishek and Aishwarya.
Vivek Oberoi received a notice from the National Commission for Women (NCW) that asked him to delete the tweet and apologise to the woman (Aishwarya), or that the NCW will approach Twitter to have it deleted. It is to be noted that Vivek Oberoi has deleted the tweet but only apologised for his "reaction" to people objecting to it, and not for the meme itself. He still stands by his "I have done nothing wrong" statement.
"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 cant even think of being disrespectful to any woman ever," said Vivek Oberoi on Twitter on May 22, adding, "Even if one woman is offended by my reply to the meme, it calls for remedial action. Apologies tweet deleted."
After backlash from netizens and Bollywood biggies like Sonam Kapoor, Madhur Bhandarkar, Urmila Matondkar and many others, and also from news editors, anchors and sportstars like Jwala Gutta, Vivek Oberoi first had a defensive reaction to his tweet. Sonam Kapoor had called out Vivek Oberoi, calling his meme tweet, "Disgusting and classless."
Vivek Oberoi spoke about Sonam Kapoor's reaction to his tweet to ANI, addressing the actress as: "Aap apne filmon mein thoda kam overact karein aur social media pe thoda kam overreact karein (overact less in your films, overreact less on social media). I've been working in women's empowerment for 10 years now. I don't think this is hurting anyone's sentiments."
The meme in question made fun of Bollywood stars' dating life in connection with the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. It was first tweeted by a guy named Pavan Singh who has since deleted it. The meme called Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai's dating life as 'Opinion Poll', Vivek Oberoi and Aishwarya Rai's dating life as 'Exit Poll', and Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's marriage as 'Result'. Similar memes hit the Internet with the love stories of actor Ranbir Kapoor and his cousin Kareena Kapoor.
With the despicable tweet, the actor got into trouble for seeking cheap publicity for his film PM Narendra Modi, in which he plays Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The controversial biopic was supposed to release in April 2019 but was postponed after a stay on it in keeping with the Election Commission of India's Model Code of Conduct. The PM Narendra Modi biopic will now release on May 24, 2019, a day after the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Results.
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 cant even think of being disrespectful to any woman ever.
— Vivek Anand Oberoi (@vivekoberoi) 21 May 2019
Vivek Oberoi speaks on Sonam Kapoor's reaction to his tweet (on exit polls), "...Aap apni filmon mein thoda kam overact karein aur social media pe thoda kam overreact karein. I've been working in women empowerment for 10 yrs now. I don't think this is hurting anyone's sentiments" pic.twitter.com/pOWAwO29N6 — ANI (@ANI) 20 May 2019