Actor Salman Khan’s appointment as the Goodwill Ambassador for Rio Olympics 2016 sparked off a stir in the sports fraternity with wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and former athlete Milkha Singh speaking up against it. Bollywood reacts to this appointment as well. While some feel that sports personalities are best for such events, others say that Salman will be the right choice.
Filmmaker Onir says that India should move beyond Bollywood, at least for events which have nothing to do with the film industry. “I feel that our country is obsessed with Bollywood. We need to have some respect for people from other fields. For a sports event, why can’t we go with someone like Prakash Padukone or Virat Kohli or maybe a sportswoman? Why must it be a Bollywood actor? I don’t agree with this at all,” he says.
Filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar says that Bollywood celebrities can work as brand ambassadors for sports events too, but Salman is not the right option. “People are bound to oppose this. Salman has all kinds of criminal cases against him. This is a bigger problem which needs to be dealt with. Otherwise, Bollywood celebrities have good fan following, which might work for brands,” he says.
On the other hand, actor Divya Dutta thinks that Salman is perfect for the job. “There is no bigger brand than Salman. He goes much beyond films. With his sports-drama Sultan, he has entered the realm of sports as well. An ambassador is all about marketing your product or event and it’s up to the organizers about who they want to choose. If they want to go ahead with a film star, what is the harm?” she says.
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai also tweeted, “What a gesture of our superstar @BeingSalmanKhan 4being ambassador olympics without charging any fee or gain but to inspire youth of india to participate more n win more medals. let’s appreciate that (sic).”
Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit also took to twitter to show his support for Salman. “If film industry can make films on #MilkhaSingh, #MaryKom & pay tributes 2 them, why can’t @BeingSalmanKhan b India’s face for #RioOlympics? (sic),” he posted. Director Sangeeth Sivan tweeted, “If d idea is 2 popularize & grab eyeballs for #olympic sports in India, thr can b no btr choice than @BeingSalmanKhan as #IOA ambassador (sic).”
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