Bollywood actress Richa Chadha is apologetic for fueling a caste-based stereotype through her new film, ‘Madam Chief Minister’.
The actress, who plays an upcoming politician in the film, drew sharp criticism after the poster didn’t go down too well with several people who called out the actress for being insensitive to the Dalit community. In the poster, Chadha is seen holding a broom.
Chadha has now come out, calling the poster ‘regrettable’.
In a full statement, Chadha said: “This film was a learning experience for me, for us all. The promotions were no different. The first poster that was released faced severe criticism, rightly so. What to me (and my privileged eyes) was a mere prop used by my character in a scene, came across as a stereotypical portrayal of Dalits for many of our people.”
She continued: “As an actor, I receive the communication for posting, complete with the copy, handles and hashtags. Needless to say, I have no role in the designing of promotional materials. By saying this, I am not throwing the makers under the bus.
“They realised this inadvertent error and took this criticism in their stride. They responded immediately by retracting the objectionable poster and by releasing a new poster the very next day. It was a regrettable and a completely unintentional oversight, not a deliberate insinuation. We are sorry. Our heart is in the right place. Hopefully you will see that for yourself when you watch the film.”
While the film is a work of fiction, insiders say the film bears a close resemblance to the life of Uttar Pradesh’s former Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president, Mayawati.
The political drama is directed by Subhash Kapoor and it also stars Akshay Oberoi and Shubhrajyoti.