Monday Aug 12, 2019
Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra was called out as a “hypocrite” during a BeautyCon panel talk in Los Angeles by an indignant Pakistani fan, who confronted the actor for tweeting in favour of a war between Pakistan and India during escalating tensions earlier this year.
Ayesha Malik, who is Pakistani, questioned Chopra’s double standards when she was handed the microphone during a Q&A session at the panel.
"It was kind of hard hearing you talk about humanity because as your neighbour, a Pakistani, I know you're a bit of a hypocrite,” Malik said to the Indian actor.
"You are a UNICEF ambassador for peace and you're encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan. There's no winner in this. As a Pakistani, millions of people like me have supported you in your business of Bollywood…." Malik was unable to finish as the microphone was taken away.
Malik was referring to a February 26 tweet in which Chopra wrote, “Jai Hind” coupled with the hashtag #IndianArmedForces.
“I hear you. Whenever you’re done venting. Got it? Done? OK, cool,” Chopra replied.
"I have many, many friends from Pakistan and I am from India,” she continued. “And war is not something that I'm really fond of, but I am patriotic, so I'm sorry if I hurt sentiments to people who do love me and have loved me, but I think that all of us have a sort of middle ground that we all have to walk, just like you probably do as well.”
Malik later took to Twitter to introduce herself as the fan who called out Chopra.
“Whenever you’re don’t venting”. Sorry, didn’t realize that speaking on a humanitarian crisis was “venting”, Malik wrote.
"She [Priyanka] gaslit me and turned the narrative around on me being the “bad guy” — as a UN ambassador this was so irresponsible," she said further.
Chopra’s response was heavily criticised by social media on both sides of the border, with the users quick to call out her patronising response to the fan.
"Priyanka Chopra pulled all the tricks in the book. She was condescending. She said she has Pakistani friends like how racists say they have black friends. She mocked the girl by using the term venting when a UN ambassador is supposed to listen to people," one user from India wrote.
"Lesson 1 of the ‘feminism’ you keep cashing in on: don’t infantilize and gaslight women @priyankachopra.
"Lesson 2: War is not a ‘middleground’ for feminists - it is the ultimate act of violence against women and other marginalized gender groups. @priyankachopra you are a jingoistic hypocrite," a Pakistani user tweeted.