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Bhumi Pednekar Completely Misses The Point While Replying To Criticism About Bala

Bhumi Pednekar Completely Misses The Point While Replying To Criticism About Bala

Bhumi Pednekar, who started her career in Bollywood just five years ago, has been taking on challenging roles one after another. Her movies are usually associated with some kind of a social message, and her latest with Ayushmann Khurrana is no exception. In Bala, Ayushmann plays someone battling with the stigma attached with hair loss, and Bhumi plays the role of a dark-skinned girl. When she had shared the poster of the film on Twitter, the backlash was immediate, as she was sporting a brownface.

Here’s the poster:


Just one look at it and you can see that there’s a ton of makeup and post-production editing that was required to turn Bhumi into what is supposed to be a brown-skinned girl. 

Immediately, Twitter was flooded with comments from fans calling out the filmmakers for casting Bhumi, and Bhumi for accepting a role like this. Why couldn’t they have just cast a brown-skinned actress? Are you trying to tell us that there is a dearth of talented women in our country who aren’t fair-skinned?


Here are some of the comments from Twitter. 

In response to the backlash, Bhumi has now given an interview to a leading daily, saying, “See, that was the character. When people see the film they will understand that it is not making fun of colour. It is a film that is trying to break the basic bias or the obsession that people have with fair skin in India. All my films are different and in all my films I look different. I am very clear. Even if I have to play a man I will do it. I’ll do whatever it takes. It’s my director’s prerogative. If he comes to me with an interesting part, why will I not do it?”


That clearly sounds like Bhumi doesn’t realise how problematic brownface is and why representation matters. If a 30-year-old can play the role of a 60-year-old, a fair-skinned girl can essay the role of a dark-skinned girl, doesn’t that sound like ageism and colourism to you, Bhumi? Wouldn’t it be logical to cast an age-appropriate or dark-skinned actress because they anyway don’t get enough roles because of all the prejudice?  

But Bhumi went on to defend her role in Bala, and said, “In Bala, I am playing a deep-coloured girl, my character is commenting on the societal bias that is still very prevalent in India on colour, I feel as an actor, the kind of satisfaction I get by not being Bhumi on-screen is something else. I can proudly say this that both are very different, they are not the same people. I love the fact that I can challenge myself and through my work, I can change the way people think. I am not doing ordinary things.”


Featured Image: Twitter

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24 Oct 2019
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