With just a day left for its release (following the copyright row) Guzaarish trips again. The Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health and Doctors for You, organizations working in the field of tobacco control have written a scathing letter to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan advising her against the use of a promotional poster plastered all over Mumbai where she is seen holding a cigarette in her latest film Guzaarish (while Hrithik Roshan looks on, albeit suitable shocked.)
The letter written by Dr. Ravikant Singh says, “We are dismayed by the posters of your forthcoming film Guzaarish that show you with a cigarette. We are not sure if the producer and the PR agency has taken your consent to use this particular picture for the advertisement. The doctors are worried about the larger impact of these posters on the millions of young women for whom you are The Role Model. Remember the final speech you made when you became Miss World, you had promised to work for Peace, Goodwill, Harmony & compassion and to do full justice with your motto ‘Beauty with Purpose’. However, this promotional scene is against the philosophy that you have been preaching.” To show their protest, the members of Doctors For You will wear black badges on Friday, on the day of the films release. Oh dear.
So what’s your verdict? Is it ok for movie stars to smoke on screen if it stays true to the character they’re trying to depict, or should they refrain lest they send the wrong message and somehow make smoking “cool”?