In reply to a question, Khan told a reporter that his recent grueling schedule made him feel ‘like a raped woman’. The faux pas that Salman’s spokesperson said he made ‘as a joke’ did not make anyone laugh; rather it created a negative uproar on social media.
The superstar tried to retract his statement but the damage was done. Angry Twitter users pounced on him, with the hashtag #InsensitiveSalman trending soon afterwards, even though supporters countered it with the campaign #SalmanMisquoted.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) in India demanded an unconditional public apology from him, saying that if he does not comply, he would be served with a summons.
Even the superstar’s father, Salim Khan stepped into the fracas, asking people to forgive Salman, saying that what he said was certainly wrong, but his intention was not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Rape is one of the biggest social issues in India, with activists demanding prompt justice and stricter punishments for criminals accused of it, and zero tolerance for attitudes that disrespect women.
In joking about such a serious matter, Salman Khan has stepped on some very sensitive toes, but everyone’s favorite hero could perhaps make amends by appearing in a He For She movement ad, given that his influence counts for so much among his fans.