The Times of India has sparked anger among Bollywood stars after it published a photo and report on actress Deepika Padukone’s cleavage.
On September 14, the newspaper tweeted a photo taken last year with a link to a web photo gallery and caption: “OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show.”
Deepika Padukone responded on Twitter: “YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??”
The daily later put out a tweet urging Deepika Padukone to consider it a compliment.
The Times of India has since removed the original tweet about Deepika Padukone’s dress, which she wore to a film launch in 2013.
Deepika Padukone tweeted on September 14: “Supposedly India’s <<LEADING>> newspaper and this is <<NEWS>>!!??.”
“Don’t talk about Woman’s Empowerment when YOU don’t know how to RESPECT Women!”
Several Bollywood celebrities and hundreds of fans have come out in support of the actress and #IStandWithDeepikaPadukone was the top trend on Twitter in India on September 15.
Director and producer Karan Johar tweeted: “Appalled….shocked and disgusted at the level of disrespect shown. Deepika or any women in the world cannot and should not stand for this!!”
Actor Arjun Rampal also wrote on Twitter: “I just read… about @deepikapadukone retort to cheap sensational journalism, well done girl.”
Fashion designers Gauri & Nainika also tweeted: “Kudos to Deepika for being a strong woman and speaking up!”
Much of the outrage is summarized by the comment posted by Hindustan Times columnist Madhavan Narayanan: “They think @deepikapadukone has a cleavage. I think she has got a spine.”
Many ordinary Indian women have also poured onto Twitter to voice their respect for Deepika Padukone stand.
Following criticism, the Times of India tweeted to Deepika Padukone that the report was meant to be a “compliment”: “You look so great that we want to make sure everyone knew! :)”
Deepika Padukone, daughter of badminton player Prakash Padukone, is one of India’s most successful models and actresses.
She made her acting debut in 2006 with a Kannada film, but found instant fame one year later with her Bollywood debut Om Shanti Om where she was cast opposite superstar Shahrukh Khan.
Deepika Padukone has taken the lead in nearly a dozen films and her latest – Finding Fanny – was released on September 12.
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