Actor Jim Sarbh has landed in a controversy after a purported video emerged online where the “Padmaavat” star is seen cracking a rape joke and Kangana Ranaut laughing and clapping on it. The short clip was apparently shot during a party the two actors attended on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival. The 30-year-old actor’s joke evoked laughter from other attendees, including Kangana who is seen clapping in response. The two actors were at Cannes as brand ambassadors of a liquor brand. Many users on Twitter shared the viral video and lashed out at the two actors for their “insensitivity towards sexual violence”. People especially mentioned Kangana, who had condemned superstar Salman Khan for making a similar joke in 2016.
“After Bashing #SalmanKhan #KanganaRanaut laughs on a rape joke by Jim Sarbh. These people…think it’s okay to joke and laugh about rape. We live in a society that teaches women to defend themselves from rape, instead of teaching men not to rape women and they laugh! Shame on you!” tweeted a user. “So Jim Sarbh made a rape joke at #Cannes2018 and feminist Kangana Ranaut laughed over it. Of course twitter feminists haven’t gone mad at her or Jim the way they did over Salman Khan’s comment. Who knows Jim anyways. Small Fly. No prime time debate material,” read another tweet.
After the backlash, Sarbh issued a statement claiming that his comments were “taken out of context”. “I understand the environment we live in just now: rape is a deadly serious issue and I treat it as such…,” he said. “I personally do not find it to be about a desire to rape, or to inflict sexual violence upon another. I did not intend to hurt anybody, and I certainly do not consider actual sexual or physical violence funny,” he added.