Indian actor Priyanka Chopra took to Twitter on Saturday to condemn an advertisement for purportedly promoting rape culture after it aired earlier in the day.
The commercial for the male fragrance brand Layer’r Shot shows four men staring at a nervous-looking woman in a store when one of the men asks, “We’re four, there’s one, who takes the shot?” When the woman turns around, it becomes clear that the men are referring to the body spray on the store shelf.
Many celebrities criticized the male fragrance brand for the commercial, including Chopra, who labeled the advertisement as “shameful,” “disgusting” and “incredibly tasteless.”
Indian actor Richa Chadha also criticized Layer’r Shot for approving the commercial despite it going through “several layers of decision making,” while film writer and director Farhan Khan described the creators of the commercial as having “twisted minds.”
On Saturday, the chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, Swait Maliwal, wrote to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting: “This advertisement is clearly promoting sexual violence against women and girls and promoting a rapist mentality among men. The advertisement is cringeworthy and should not be allowed to be played on mass media.”
The Ministry took down the commercial within 24 hours and asked that shared videos of the commercial be removed from Twitter and YouTube.
Layer’r Shot apologized in a statement on Monday stating that the brand “never intended to hurt anyone’s sentiments or feeling or outrage any woman’s modesty or promote any sort of culture, as wrongly perceived by some.”
The controversial commercial comes amid a spate of high-profile rape cases with women victims that have roiled India in recent years. Recorded rape cases went up by 12 percent
in in the country in 2021. Many cases go unreported because of stigma and shame, as well as a low conviction rate
for those who are accused.