Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui seems to be in trouble that just won't go away as a complaint has been brought against him and the CEO of Coca-Cola's Indian branch for allegedly “hurting sentiments” of the Bengali minority. The actor appeared in a Hindi-language Sprite commercial. A Kolkata-based lawyer has complained to a sentence in the Bengali version of the advertisement but no complaints have been made about the Hindi version.
The advertisement is a part of the brand's latest marketing campaign. It advertises the novel capability of the beverage's bottle, which enables customers to scan a QR code and hear jokes.
According to an article by LiveMint, the lawsuit has been filed by attorney Dibyayan Banerji of the Calcutta High Court. The court heard Dibyayan testify that Coca-Cola's primary marketing for Sprite was in Hindi. And that's not an issue for us. Only the Bengali dubbing of the advertisement, which is playing on several TV networks and internet, is problematic. The joke that reads, “shoja anguley ghee na uthley, Bangali khali petey ghumiye porey,” had actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui giggling. In plain English, it indicates that Bengalis go to bed hungry if they can't simply get anything. And we believe that this is hurtful to the Bengali community's feelings. Future promotions of this kind of gimmicky, trite performance are something we wish to avoid.
According to the article, the firm removed the Bengali version of the Nawazuddin-starring advertisement in response to the complaint. Additionally, Sprite India wrote in a message that it “regrets the recent ad campaign for the cold drink and that the company respects Bengali language”
The next movie Nawazuddin will appear in is Sudhir Mishra's Afwaah, in which he co-stars with Bhumi Pednekar. The movie will premiere in theatres on May 5. Additionally, it has significant parts for the actors Sumit Kaul, Sharib Hashmi, Sumeet Vyas, TJ Bhanu, and Rockey Raina.
Nawazuddin will also appear in Tiku Weds Sheru, a movie starring Kangana Ranaut.