MUMBAI: Actress and Arsenal supporter Esha Gupta, who has been called out on social media for making racist remarks against Nigerian footballer Alexander Iwobi, has apologised by saying that she did not “realise it was directed towards racism”.
The social media on Monday was abuzz over a snapshot of a Whatsapp conversation that Esha shared on her Instagram stories. The conversation criticised Iwobi for his performance.
In the conversation, Esha’s friend called Iwobi a “gorilla” and said that “evolution stopped for him”. He even said that the footballer did not change from “neanderthal to man”.
To that, Esha laughed and replied: “Haha… I don’t know why they don’t bench him more.”
— Kris 😎⚽️⚾️🏈🏏🏀🏆🇧🇧 (@bajankris) January 27, 2019
She quickly deleted the image from her profile when she realised her mistake, but the screenshot was already shared by netzians.
This did not go down well with some users, who slammed her for her “ignorance” and called her out for being racist despite having claimed she herself has been a victim in the past.
After the backlash, Esha took to Twitter to apologise.
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“Guys I am sorry you thought it was racist. Was bad on my part, being a sports lover. Sorry guys, forgive the stupidity,” she tweeted.
She added: “It was us discussing our frustration during the game. Sorry as I didn’t realise it was directed towards racism. Laughed over the spur of the moment, which was the game’s result guys. Been a victim of racism myself before. But this is not something I am proud of. It was a fault, sorry guys”.
In 2017, the 33-year-old actress had opened up about facing racist comments in India and said she was often referred to as “Kaali” (dark) due to her complexion.
Esha ventured into Bollywood in 2012 with “Jannat 2”. She has featured in films like “Rustom”, “Baadshaho”, “Commando 2” and “Paltan”.