It’s been a few days to the controversy surrounding actor Deepika Padukone’s ‘cleavage show’, as read the caption of a paparazzi pic by the website of an English daily, but the debate is only gaining more steam. Now, we get you a comprehensive lowdown on all sides and stands that have emerged, and get the fraternity to reflect, beyond reacting.
It all started on Sunday, when Deepika Padukone took a stand no one could ignore. The actor strongly reacted to an online report that carried pics of her at an event, ­purportedly taken from a high camera angle, captioned, ‘OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show’. In a tweet that has since been retweeted close to 9000 times, an angry Deepika posted, ‘YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a ­problem!!??” The matter only escalated when the news daily justified its action via its Twitter handle, “It’s a compliment! You look so great that we want to make sure everyone knew! :)”.
While expressing outrage at the pictures and the justification that followed, social media stood by the 28-year-old actor, as the hashtag #IStandByDeepikaPadukone trended on Twitter and people slammed the publication for objectifying women with an example such as this.
Also read:So what about Bollywood itself, Deepika?
Deepika tells HT City, “Every girl deserves to be treated with respect ... ­whether an actor, a dancer or a girl walking into a ­restaurant. How we choose to dress doesn’t give someone the right to peddle ­voyeurism, or eve tease or do anything that is disrespectful to a woman.” She also said in an interview to NDTV, “It was unethical for the photographer to click a picture like that. This has nothing to do with being a celebrity or actor. I feel violated as a woman.”
Meanwhile, Bollywood has not just came out strongly in support of the actor, but also driven home the point that the paparazzi should know where to draw the line.
Also read:Actresses are constantly getting objectified, says Sonam Kapoor
While most support the actor, others are of the view that it is only the price of fame, and must not be taken too seriously.
Yet others have smirked and called it a smart publicity stunt for her latest film, Finding Fanny. We delve deep.
Ranveer Singh: @deepikapadukone way to let ‘em know! #LikeABoss @TOIEntertain TUM se yeh ummeed nahi thi #SMH #owned
Priyanka Chopra: Well done @deepikapadukone ! Taken a stand for all of us. Xoxo
Also read:We have to stand up for Deepika Padukone, says Shah Rukh Khan
Esha Gupta: @deepikapadukone well said, proud of you. Thank you for doing this.. Women power
Farhan Akhtar: My simple question to the media regarding the Deepika-Cleavage story is.. Can this messenger be shot??
Karan Johar: Appalled....shocked and disgusted at the level of disrespect shown..Deepika or any woman in the world cannot and should not stand for this!!
Kriti Sanon: @deepikapadukone superbb reply!! Glad that someone stood up! N i cant believe they actually replied to justify instead of apologising!!!!! (sic)
Shoojit Sircar: That’s eve teasing of different kind.... @deepikapadukone that’s the way women shd stand against & protest ... (sic)
Ayushmann Khurrana: Dear yellow journalism, a star showed you that some of you are green ... yeh-lo!
Aditi Rao Hydari: Thank you for this! About time! #RESPECT @deepikapadukone YES!I am a Woman.I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??”
Shraddha Kapoor: Journos have a responsibility when they report. This was one of the dumbest & most irresponsible moves!
Alia Bhatt: Seriously ballsy of @deepikapadukone to take on the media and call them out on their hypocrisy!! Our silence is always taken for granted!
Anushka Sharma: Respect to @deepikapadukone for standing up to this vulgar ‘news’ and standing up for her being a woman and not being apologetic about it!
Also read:Deepika Padukone's cleavage post a 'compliment'? Tweeple don't agree
Farah Khan: Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. @deepikapadukone doing just that!!
Nimrat Kaur: Brilliant strike @deepikapadukone. So fearless a message and truly inspiring coming from you as a role model to millions of women all over
Dia Mirza: Entertainment ‘news’ has rarely ever treated women with much respect. For once some1 decided not to let it go.
Actor Sophie Choudry says, “This happens all the time. Photographs and videos are taken from all angles especially when we are sitting or getting out of the car, and it’s upsetting. But being a celebrity, media and public intrusion comes with the territory and we accept that. But people need to know where to draw the line and I’m glad Deepika spoke up about this issue.” Actor Pooja Bedi tweeted, “I dont get it! SRK&hrithik expose their 6 packs &cameras ogle & people drool. why should it b different if deepika flaunts her beautiful assets. International media had gone beserk over Angelina Jolie showing her leg in a gown. When ur a celebrity ur flaunted assets will get attention (sic).”
Shah Rukh Khan has been open in admitting that not many in the industry have the courage to hit back. “What Deepika said was wonderful. We don’t have the guts to do what she has done, but we believe in it and we support it. We should respect the individuality and the job we do. What she did was fantastic and it would be stupid of us to talk about that. We stand by her. All of us have to stand by her, but we should not trivialise it and make it a part of conversation,” he has said.
Deepika’s supposed rival in the industry, actor Sonam Kapoor, has also spoken out in her support. “I was in Dubai for my film’s promotion so I didn’t know about it. It’s sad and unfortunate that women are constantly being objectified, be it kissing scenes or wearing bikinis. Everything becomes a talking point ... It’s like whatever sells! Whatever happened to journalistic ethics? I feel sorry that it happened to her. It’s obviously not right. I feel bad for her but I also feel bad for the rest of us,” she said at a press conference for her soon-to-be released film.
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta, who also spoke up for actor Shweta Basu Prasad when she was caught in a prostitution controversy, says, “I completely support Deepika’s stand. Why should celebs be prepared for this kind of intrusion? It is a two-way process. If the celebrity is available for the media, then the media should also respect the celebrity. Apart from being celebrities, they are also individuals who should be respected. It was very irresponsible and sexist on the part of the concerned publication. When you focus on the cleavage, it’s sexist.”
Aamir Khan, known for his strong social activism, gives out his view to HT City. “We need to end this hypocrisy. There isn’t anyone who publishes stories on how to respect women. On the other hand, (even after such a story), they use their scantily dressed photos later. I am proud of the way Deepika handled it. We need to make sure that this is not just another “talked about” thing. I’d like to see journalists maintain one stand — to respect women,” he says.
Actor Shahid Kapoor tell us, “First they put it in the paper, and then everyone says, ‘Oh god! Such a bad thing has happened,’ which is how media gets more mileage. So it’s a win-win situation for the media, which makes it even worse because it’s not something now, it has happened a year ago (the pictures in question were apparently clicked a year ago). I think what Deepika did is great. And I’m glad that so many people are supporting her. The guy who shot it should also think how it would feel if somebody did that to his family. I think that would give all the answers.”
Award-winning filmmaker Onir, known for his offbeat films that take up social causes, says, “There has to be a difference between journalism and stalking. There are occasions when men and women look attractive, but it is very important to see the words which they (publications) use. There is a difference between leering and appreciating. I feel it is very brave of Deepika to take it up. Had they said ‘how attractive’ instead of what they said, it would have made all the difference ... the way they put it was not responsible.”