Unlike her acting career, Sara Ali Khan’s magazine cover debut has not been met with the best reactions. The budding starlet has graced the cover of Filmfare’s March issue, which was revealed on Tuesday. The pictures for the cover story were shot in Kenya with a few Masai tribesmen and women, reported Hindustan Times.
But like we said earlier, those pictures have not gone down well with fans. Several Twitter users have expressed disappointment at the “tone deaf” and “racist” photo-shoot for using a tribe as a prop for the pictures.
“She really got a whole human being behind her like a Jojos Bizarre Adventure stand,” wrote one Twitter user. “Shame. I actually liked Sara Ali Khan… I thought she was different from these Bollywood clowns,” wrote another.
Most people called out the magazine for digitally editing the pic and adding the man behind her. However, the Masai tribesmen are known for their ability to jump straight up. The man’s shadow is hid behind Khan and therefore, appears as if he has no shadow and has been photo-shopped into the picture.
Others also defended Khan from the Twitter storm. “I can’t believe people are really saying that Sara Ali Khan’s photo-shoot is cultural appropriation and racist but she is not wearing anything related to black culture so how is it cultural appropriation? The photo-shoot was in Kenya and the native black people are wearing those outfits, not Sara!” wrote a fan.
However, most argued that cultural appropriation doesn’t only include wearing a minority community’s traditional outfits or altering your appearance superficially to look like them (such as the blackface or squinting eyes) but also includes using an the community’s culture to one’s advantage.
“Hey. Simply put, you cannot use people of a country as props. They can contribute to the narrative and be a part of the shoot but not just be stoic spectators that elevate the model. That’s really whack,” a comment read. Another user said, “Filmfare was cancelled a long time ago, so can one double cancel it? Sara Ali Khan should know better. Isn’t she that rare star kid who completed her education? Or did she miss out an entire history of colonialism? Or is she just plain stupid and has hidden it well so far?”
One more fan called out Khan’s education saying, “Sara Ali Khan went to Columbia University and even she could not tell Filmfare that maybe her ‘stunner’ picture is racist and appropriative? Come on, Sara, you are one of the good ones!”
A fan added, “People expressing shock over Sara Ali Khan’s foolhardy Filmfare shoot despite her being Ivy League educated is so funny. Since when did an Ivy League education automatically make someone smart, wordly or wise? Some of the biggest douchebags I know are from Ivy Leagues…”
Khan made her film debut this year with Kedarnath last year opposite Sushant Singh Rajput. The film did moderate business at the box office. Her second film was Rohit Shetty’s Simmba with Ranveer Singh in the lead role. The film made more than INR350 crore and broke several box office records.
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