Celebrities across the globe have joined thousands protesting racism and police brutality in response to the death of George Floyd. Numerous Bollywood stars including Karan Johar, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor have also showed their solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Floyd, an African-American, died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, while he pleaded that he could not breathe.
However, other celebrities like Sara Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan shared posts for “All Lives Matter,” a proclamation many feel to be a counteractive to the Black Lives Matter movement. Both Sara and Kareena have since received huge online outrage. Later, Sara deleted her post.
Now, actress Tamannaah Bhatia has created a furore on social media with her "All Lives Matter" post. Tamannaah on Friday took to Twitter to make a strong statement with a bold picture. In the photo, a black imprint of a hand can be seen on Tamannaah's face.
Sharing the picture, the actress wrote, "Your silence will not protect you. Doesn't every life matter, human or animal? Muting any form of creation is against the universal law. We must unlearn and learn to be human again, express compassion and practice love. #AllLivesMatter #WakeUpWorld"
Your silence will not protect you. Doesn't every life matter, human or animal? Muting any form of creation is against the universal law. We must unlearn and learn to be human again, express compassion and practice love.#AllLivesMatter #WakeUpWorld pic.twitter.com/Ixzq39ueJC — Tamannaah Bhatia (@tamannaahspeaks) June 5, 2020
However, the post did not go down well with a section of people who criticised the actress, saying that responding to racism and police brutality against Blacks with “All Lives Matter” insults people of the particular community working to achieve true equality. A user wrote: "All lives will only matter when Black lives matter too. The things that happen are too unjust. Please don’t take that away from them with your All lives matter # it’s absolute nonsense. Please read more and educate yourself." Another user, in a series of tweets, blasted Tamannaah for using the BLM movement as "an aesthetic." He wrote, "There are a couple of things I want to point out to you miss Bhatia: DO NOT use black lives matter as an aesthetic; nobody ever said ONLY black lives matter, but all lives can't matter unless you treat black people equally; speak on up racial equality the day bollywood doesn't promote fair & lovely and ponds white beauty anymore. Speak out against your peers when they promote such products that have had an incredibly degrading and depressing effect on millions of Indian girls who are made to believe their skin colour isn't perfect."
There are a couple of things I want to point out to you miss Bhatia: 1. DO NOT use black lives matter as an aesthetic 2. Nobody ever said ONLY black lives matter, but all lives can't matter unless you treat black people equally 3. Speak on up racial equality the day bollywood+ — ⍟⟭⟬✪ ⁷✪⟭⟬⍟ (@winterbearper) June 5, 2020
Several Bollywood stars like Priyanka, Sonam and Disha Patani are also being branded "hypocrites" for calling out racism after endorsing skin-lightening facial creams in advertisements. One user shared an old Garnier ad Priyanka posed for to promote their ‘Light Ultra fairness and dark spots reduction cream.' "How can she be so blatantly hypocrite?" They wrote.
How can she be so blatantly hypocrite? pic.twitter.com/Wa7c5GJ7r9 — Major Neel (Retd) (@MajorNeel) June 3, 2020
On the other hand, actor Abhay Deol criticised his colleagues, saying "woke Indian celebrities" are failing to speak up about issues in their own country. The Dev D actor uploaded a picture on Instagram with hashtags "migrant lives matter, minority lives matter and poor lives matter", the issues which have come to the fore in the wake of the coronavirus-led lockdown, preceded by the Delhi riots in February.
He wrote: "Now that “woke” indian celebrities and the middle class stand in solidarity with fighting systemic racism in America, perhaps they’d see how it manifests in their own backyard?"