Celebrities stand divided on HUL’s decision to remove ‘Fair’ from Fair & Lovely
George Floyd’s death sparked ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests throughout the world. This battle against racism has created a great impact in India as well. Multiple companies took major decisions to display their solidarity with the cause. Following their footsteps, Hindustan Unilever decided to drop the word ‘Fair’ from its popular product ‘Fair & Lovely’ to celebrate all skin tones.
In an official statement, Hindustan Unilever Chairman Sanjiv Mehta said, “We are making our skincare portfolio more inclusive and want to lead the celebration of a more diverse portrayal of beauty.”
Celebrities express mixed reactions to this decision. While some lauded HUL’s recent decision, few had some reservations regarding it.
Actresses Bipasha Basu and Nandita Das addressed their association with ‘dusky’ in lengthy notes. Sonali Kulkarni shared a video claiming to be proud of ‘Indian Complexion’.
Now this is seriously FAIR and Fabulous.. What a decision 👍👍👍 Cheers @HUL_News
Proud of your team.. 👏
Time to feel lovely with our stunning, Indian complexion 😍 #HindustanUnilever pic.twitter.com/vlAOwcz3V7
— sonalikulkarni (@sonalikulkarni) June 25, 2020
From the time I was growing up I heard this always,”Bonnie is darker than Soni.She is little dusky na?“Even though my mother is a dusky beauty and I look a lot like her.I never knew why that would be a discussion by… https://t.co/18QvxexuP7
— Bipasha Basu (@bipsluvurself) June 26, 2020
Having been on this journey for long, I know how difficult and slow change is. But the needle is moving and so on our part, we have to ensure it moves fast and in the right direction. https://t.co/Z7l9Df4osH
— Nandita Das (@nanditadas) June 26, 2020
Popular poet-writer Pritish Nandy is happy with this decision. However, he feels this decision is not enough to remove the stigma associated with dark skin in the society.
Good to see HLL drop “Fair” from Fair & Lovely cream. Though I am all for creative freedom, racism is not freedom. And dropping a word will not change the way we look at dark people. Think of what the West Indian cricketers feel when we ‘endearingly’ call them “kaalu”.
— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) June 27, 2020
Shekhar Kapur poses the question, whether HUL dares to feature dark-skinned girl for promoting their ‘inclusive’ product?
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) June 25, 2020
Onir and Apurva Asrani openly voiced their displeasure. The editor-writer wrote that the company was involving in a ‘dirty game’ by ‘co-opting influencers to give them a ‘clean chit’ with both the brands. He called it as a ‘blatant attempt’ to quell the ‘anger against their racist & homophobic communication.’
@Unilever specialises in not acknowledging the real problem & making these superficial gestures. Recently they were called out for their homophobic messaging on @KwalitywallsIn .it's been more than a week that @Apurvasrani & I have been demanding an apology for the community.BUT! https://t.co/x975Vxv0a3
— Onir (@IamOnir) June 26, 2020
If @Unilever would acknowledge their role in perpetuating prejudice, or @SunRisers @BCCI @IPL were to initiate open discussions on racism in cricket after @darensammy88's recent video, it would make a world of difference. Sadly, they've shown no interest in honest conversations
— Anna MM Vetticad (@annavetticad) June 26, 2020
Comedian Aditi Mittal shared her stand on the topic by sharing a funny meme.
— waiting for Guddu (@awryaditi) June 26, 2020