Actor and BJP lawmaker Hema Malini has called the controversial advertisement by healthcare products company Kent RO Systems "inappropriate" and said that it doesn't resonate with her values. "I respect and stand by all sections of society," she said in a statement after the advertisement for an ''Atta & Bread Maker" drew massive criticism on social media for its "classist" content.
Views expressed by the recent advertisement of Kent Atta by @KentROSystems do not resonate with my values and are inappropriate, The Chairman has already tendered a public apology for the mistake.I hereby wish to put on record that I respect and stand by all sections of society. pic.twitter.com/i6tY3hJdt8— Hema Malini (@dreamgirlhema) May 27, 2020
The advertisement, featuring brand ambassador Hema Malini and her daughter Esha Deol, allegedly portrayed househelps in a bad light by depicting them as carriers of infection.
"Are you allowing your maid to knead atta dough by hand? Her hands may be infected," read the ad for Kent's Atta and Bread Maker, encouraging customers to invest in a product that would knead dough hands-free.
The advertisement didn't go down well with many on the social media who accused the brand of being "classist". "In a classist way, the ad suggests that only a maid's hand could be unclean," wrote one Twitter user.
After facing a massive backlash, the Noida-based firm took the advertisement down and issued a public apology this afternoon.
"Please accept our sincere apologies for having published the Ad of Kent Atta & Bread Maker. It was unintentional but wrongly communicated and it has been withdrawn," wrote the company's chairman, Mahesh Gupta, on Twitter.
The advertisement came at a time when the coronavirus-induced lockdown and the fear associated with the pandemic have left many househelps across the country jobless.
Kent is one of the leading players in the RO Water Purifier category and has expanded to several product categories such as air purifiers, water softeners, cooking appliances and vacuum cleaners.