"DOES EVERYONE THINK RAPE IS A JOKE?" wrote one star
An Indian TV ad for a male body spray has been widely condemned by Bollywood stars -- including Priyanka Chopra -- for, as one critic, said "romanticizing gang rape."
The advertisement depicts four men following a woman in a store. She stops and leans over to reach something on a shelf and the group surround her.
"We're four, there's one, who takes the shot?" the men say. The woman, clearly frightened, turns around to see the men appearing to ogle her. The ad then reveals the men are gazing at a single can of the body spray as one of the men grabs the canister.
The brand Layer'r Shot has been widely condemned for the "shameful" and "disgusting" commercial.
The advert came amid a national conversation about rape culture in India following a series of crimes against women, including the alleged rape of a 17-year-old by five men.
The commercial has since been taken off the air, and the ministry has asked social media sites to do the same.
Layer'r Shot has since apologized for the advertisement, per CNN, saying they "never intended to hurt anyone's sentiments or feelings or outrage any woman's modesty or promote any sort of culture, as wrongly perceived by some."
Shameful and disgusting. How many levels of clearances did it take for this commercial to be green lit. How many people thought this was ok? I’m so glad that it was called out and now the ministry has taken it down. Appalling!
Actress Richa Chadha tweeted in response to the ad: "This ad is not an accident. To make an ad, a brand goes through several layers of decision making. Creatives, script, agency, client, casting… DOES EVERYONE THINK RAPE IS A JOKE? Revelatory! This brand, the agency that made this ad need to be sued for the filth they’re serving."
Priyanka Chopra responded: "Shameful and disgusting. How many levels of clearances did it take for this commercial to be green lit. How many people thought this was ok? I’m so glad that it was called out and now the ministry has taken it down. Appalling!"
While another online critic wrote: "Why is India the rape capital of the world and most unsafe country for a woman! An advert romanticizing gang rape."