Indian-American economist Gita Gopinath has been serving as the chief of the International Monetary Fund since 2019. Bollywood actor and Kaun Banega Crorepati host Amitabh Bachchan, however, has just referred to the Director of IMF's Research Department and the Economic Counsellor of the Fund as someone with a "beautiful face".
In a recent episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the eponymous quiz game show hosted by Bachchan for over a decade, the actor referred to how Gopinath looked while describing a question based on her to a contestant.
The question was based on identifying the correct organisation that Gopinath headed and was accompanied by an image of the woman on screen. While describing the woman, Bachchan said in Hindi, "She has such a beautiful face, who can link it with the economy?"
A video of the same was shared by Gopinath herself who took to social media to thank the actor for mentioning her. "Okay, I don't think I will ever get over this. As a HUGE fan of Big B, the Greatest of All Time, this is special!" the IMF chief tweeted.
Bachchan himself responded to Gopinath's tweet.
"Thank you Gita Gopinath ji...I meant every word I said about you on the show ...said in utmost earnestness," he wrote.
While many congratulated the duo on the hearty exchange, many on Twitter could not help point out the rather sexist nature of Bachchan's comment.
@GitaGopinath sorry to say..But he was being sheer sexist there..What has the beautiful face and economics to do against each other??It sounds very.. Irking.. https://t.co/KB6xCcfmrx— ഇയാഗോ (@iagolevel) January 22, 2021
Did he say Itna khubsurat chehra hai inka, economy ke saath koi jod hi nahi sakta!?What does it mean? What's her job got to do with her looks? What are looks to do with economy? Pretty people can't be accomplished? What is the point of that statement? Someone please help. https://t.co/j8kj5VpoaJ— Ginny (@Velvetyvirgo) January 22, 2021
Tell me you didn't miss the sexism. Bachchan ji should know neither in India nor anywhere else beauty is a parameter to become a economist. #sexism https://t.co/JFSuxKz7fD— Chandrajit (@chandrajit_) January 22, 2021
Others, however, shared Gopinath's excitement.
So sad that he just had to mention your looks while pointing to your earned achievement. Bet you he wouldn't have made a mention if, say, @raghuramrajan or @kaushikcbasu were on the screen. Anyway, congratulations to you @GitaGopinath : keep the flag flying high!— Jaideep Mehta (@jaideep400) January 22, 2021
Earlier in January 2020, Gopinath had appreciated India's efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, saying that she expects more in terms of scale in the near future.
"The Indian government has prioritised things very well. Health is the first priority, containment measures have been put in place," she told CNBC-TV18 in an exclusive interview. "The Indian government has also provided direct support to weaker sections. I commend the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) for putting liquidity measures in place."