Amid mounting concerns regarding the potential negative impacts of online gaming on the youth, a group of protestors gathered outside the Mumbai residence of Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan, known as Mannat. This demonstration prompted a heightened police presence in the vicinity as protestors expressed their discontent over celebrities endorsing online gaming applications. They asserted that these endorsements contribute to misleading and corrupting the younger generation.
Organized by the Untouch Youth Foundation, the protests were aimed at online gaming platforms like Junglee Rummy and Zupee. The foundation’s official statement underscored the dissatisfaction with celebrity involvement in advertisements that are believed to contribute to societal misdirection. Krishchandra Adal, President of the Untouch India Foundation, stated, “Famous actors and actresses work in these advertisements and they are working towards misguiding society. The protest will be held outside Shah Rukh Khan’s Mannat bungalow on behalf of the Untouch India Foundation.”
Adal went on to stress the financial motivations driving celebrity endorsements and called for a halt to such promotional campaigns. He stated, “The Bollywood stars also know it is wrong, but they are getting money so they are promoting them. We demand these advertisements to stop.” He further highlighted that these apps are often found on private websites, even though they may not be accessible through standard platforms like Google.
While Shah Rukh Khan was a primary focus of the protest due to his association with A23 Games, an online rummy portal, other celebrities including Ajay Devgn, Rakul Preet Singh, Prakash Raj, Annu Kapoor, Rana Daggubati, and certain cricketers were also named for endorsing online gaming. The protestors aimed to extend their demonstrations to the homes of these celebrities as well, but faced police intervention.
The specific point of contention centered around Shah Rukh Khan’s role as the brand ambassador for A23 Games, which operates an online rummy platform. His participation in an advertisement for the gaming app, promoting it with the tagline “Chalo Saath Khelein” (Let’s Play Together), exemplified the central issue raised by the protestors.
In terms of his professional pursuits, Shah Rukh Khan is currently gearing up for the release of his upcoming film “Jawan,” in which he collaborates with renowned South Indian filmmaker Atlee. The movie, featuring Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, and others, marks Khan’s return to the silver screen following his previous success with “Pathaan.”
As debates surrounding the impact of online gaming on youth continue to escalate, the recent protest against celebrity endorsements underscores the deepening concern and calls for responsible representation in the media.