'Rimi's comment is very shameful'
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 12:18 IST
By Santa Banta News Network
She is often called a Comedy queen in Bollywood but not many people are laughing in tinsletown after listening to Rimi Sen's recent racist statement in an interview with a Bollywood website.

Talking to Nithin Sethi of Glamsham about her film Golmaal, Rimi Sen, said: "I play a sweet and beautiful girl in the film. The best thing that I like about the film is that though it has four heroes, I am the only heroine. Rohit Shetty is amazing as a director. He can make even a black African look pretty."

This remark was not called for and has no resemblance on the storyline of the film. But they were published by the website and later by an automated news feed on Yahoo News.

The film is number 8 in the UK charts and some groups are considering whether to call for a boycott in British cinemas.

The British African group Ligali has openly condemned her statement and said the fact that the majority of readers saw Sen's comments as acceptable exposed "how normalised anti-African ideology is within Bollywood and its audiences".

Talking about the entire controversy Jaspreet Pandohar, a Bollywood film critic for BBC Movies Online says that Sen's comments were "shameful but not entirely surprising".

"It not only reflects her ignorance of other cultures and belief that black people can't be naturally beautiful, but also illustrates India and Bollywood's long-running obsession with fair skin."

She added: "The sad thing is Rimi probably doesn't even realise her comments can be construed as offensive. It would be practically unheard of a British actor making these kinds of racist comments in the open and to the media."

There have been other recent debacles.

Ms Pandohar says journalists were caught surprised at a recent London press conference for the Bollywood blockbuster Krrish.

At the event, well known actor Hrithik Roshan made a passing comment about how he knew it was time to leave Shanghai and Hong Kong after six weeks of stunt training and go home when his eyes started "turning into little slits like the Chinese".

(with inputs from AIM Magazine)
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