New Delhi: Social media was ablaze with anger when Bollywood actor model Poonam Pandeys attempt to raise awareness about cancer took a controversial turn. Pandeys team shocked the public on Friday by announcing her death from cancer only for the actor to reappear on social media the next day revealing it as a staged stunt.
Internet users and celebrities including Pooja Bhatt, Sara Khan, Aly Goni and Rahul Vaidya expressed their outrage labeling it a "and "disgraceful" act that trivialized a serious health issue. Initially offering condolences Bhatt later deleted her post while condemning the "disgrace and disrespect" shown towards those battling cervical cancer.
Aly Goni strongly criticized the move as nothing than a "cheap publicity stunt " calling for people to boycott Pandey and her PR team. Rahul Vaidya condemned the use of sensationalism as an exploitation tactic. Labeled it a new low in marketing strategies.
Nikki Tamboli called out the act as cheapness " stressing its disrespectful nature towards those who are actually fighting cancer. Actor Kushal Tandon went further by demanding the arrest of Pandey and her PR team, for orchestrating such a fake death seeing it as an extreme level of shamelessness and insensitivity.
Even actresses Sherlyn Chopra and Rakhi Sawant voiced their disapproval with Sawant raising doubts about Pandeys intentions in a video on Instagram.
The hashtag '#PoonamPandey' flooded media with more than 60 thousand critical posts branding it as the "most terrible publicity stunt ever" and criticizing Pandey for resorting to desperate measures for attention.
While the majority condemned the act a few individuals defended Pandey recognizing her attempt to create awareness about cancer. However the overall sentiment, on media remains predominantly negative with many feeling betrayed and questioning the genuineness of such tactics in promoting a cause.
—Input from Agencies