On Tuesday evening, actor Varun Dhawan, who will turn a year older on April 24, drew criticism online after he shared a fan-made common birthday display picture of himself on his social media accounts. The post came off as “tone-deaf” to many people who called the actor out for being “ignorant” to what is going on in the millions of homes across the country as the Covid-19 crisis drags on.
A Twitter user reshared Varun’s tweet and wrote, “Oh Varun. I thought you’re one of the sensible ones.” Clarifying his stance on the same, the actor replied, “Well it was to make someone happy who made the graphic and requested it but I guess this medium shouldn’t be used for that right now.” However, this isn’t the first time when a celebrity received a huge backlash on social media for flaunting their privilege amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, actor-couple Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor were massively trolled for flying out to Maldives for a vacation just a few days after testing negative for Covid-19. Netizens slammed the couple for not using their influence to extend help to their own people at a time when the country is reeling under the second wave of coronavirus.
Pooja Bedi found herself in hot water after she tweeted a post about not spending life “caged and masked for years in fear of" Covid-19 alongside a video of herself and her fiance Maneck Contractor riding a speedboat in Goa. Pushback came quickly, with some users calling her post “harmful” and “irresponsible”.
Several other Bollywood celebrities including Sara Ali Khan, Janhvi Kapoor, Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Shraddha Kapoor among others are being criticised for proudly showing off their glowing sun-kissed bodies and abs from their beach vacations on social media amidst the health emergency in the country.
However, there are certainly some actors who reminded people not all celebrities are ignorant of the seriousness of the pandemic. A few weeks back, actor Amit Sadh announced that he’s taking a break from social media as he feels “uncomfortable” sharing posts about his daily life at a time when people are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 37-year-old actor said recent events in the country made him reflect on whether he should be sharing his “silly” gym session videos online, especially at a time when the entire state of Maharashtra is “under strict Covid restrictions."
“The whole country is going through a difficult time. I believe my posts and reels of the gym sessions, the silly things that I do will not heal or entertain anyone. This is not a criticism to anyone. I personally feel the best way to be sensitive about the situation is to pray and hope for things to get better," Sadh wrote. Later, in an interview with a daily, the actor elaborated on his decision, saying that he was particularly “triggered” when someone told him that he must stay relevant online.
“Is Brad Pitt showing you that he is on an exotic island while the rest are battling corona? No, right? There’s so much suffering around and how can you pretend that it’s all okay because it hasn’t affected you? This has been on my mind for weeks,” he said.
Even actor-singer Shruti Haasan feels the same. Shruti said that it’s irresponsible of actors to share photos of their exotic holidays during this tough time. In a recent interview with The Quint, Shruti said, “Glad they had a great holiday, they deserved it. I did not personally feel it was a time to go maskless in a pool. It has been a tough time for everyone and for some people much more. I think gratitude and being thankful for privileges is what is most important to know versus throwing your privileges in people’s faces."
While some actors are busy vacationing beachside, a section of celebs is definitely using the pandemic as an opportunity to introspect on connecting with the ground reality in order to make sense of these unpredictable times.