Actor Akshay Kumar’s comment on his The Great Indian Laughter Challenge co-judge Mallika Dua did not go well with the comedienne’s fans and even with Mallika, who has posted snapshots of an open letter, in which she has addressed the issue. Mallika, who received a remark – “Mallika ji aap bell bajaaiye, main aapko bajaata hoon, aimed at her during a shoot, says she wanted to start a dialogue about etiquette at the workplace, where big shots often cannot differentiate between ‘charm and harm.’
The letter posted by Mallika on Twitter reads: “Was it the single most vile act of inappropriate behaviour? No. Was it enough to make one uncomfortable? Yes. Would the superstar be offended had someone jokingly said to his daughter, ‘Nitaara ji, aap bell bajaaiye main aapko bajaata hoon’? – Most probably.”
Being offended by shaming her for the character she plays, Mallika’s letter also reads: “Is Kareena Kapoor not entitled to speak about things because she played Chameli? Is Vidya Balan not entitled to speak about things because she did The Dirty Picture? The people who shame us for the characters we play are the same people who make it okay for a Bhupendra Chaubey to speak to Sunny Leone the way he did. Shame on you. Fortunately, you can’t stop us.”
Akshay’s ‘ring a bell’ comment refers to the show’s format in which judges ring a bell to appreciate an act. In no time, the clip from The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, in which Akshay made a remark referring to Mallika, went crazy viral on the Internet.
Mallika in her letter also says that this isn’t just about Akshay Kumar.
“This is about every big Bollywood star and every other big shot, who cannot tell the difference between charm and harm. This is about every big celebrity who thinks his colleague enjoys being grabbed by the waist and twirled without her consent.
“This is about workplace etiquette for everybody, men and women included, and about understanding the idea of professional communication so we don’t make someone uncomfortable in their place of work, unintentionally or otherwise.”