Pierce Brosnan apologized for his appearance in an Indian advertising campaign for a controversial breath freshner that many people see as a health risk. The actor said, via People, that he was “deeply shocked and saddened” to learn the Pan Bahar product he was advertising may include ingredients that can cause cancer. The product, called pan masala in Hindi, is usually taken after meals and is also blamed for red-colored spit stains across India. It is made up of nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, and studies show it could have harmful health effects.
Brosnan said he has the “greatest love and affection for India and its people” and said Pan Bahar’s use of his image was “unauthorized and deceptive” and a violation of his contract. Brosnan said he agreed to advertise a single product presented as “all-natural containing neither tobacco, supari, nor any other harmful ingredient.”
“Having endured, in my own personal life, the loss of my first wife and daughter as well as numerous friends to cancer, I am fully committed to supporting women’s health care and research programs that improve human health and alleviate suffering,” said Brosnan in his statement. He said that the company “grossly manipulated” media outlets to make it seem as if he was a brand ambassador for an entire line of products.
“As a man who has spent decades championing women’s health care and environmental protection, I was distressed to learn of Pan Bahar’s unauthorized and deceptive use of my image to endorse their range of pan masala products. I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one’s health.”
Brosnan said he will try to rectify the situation and that he was sorry: “Please accept my sincerest and heartfelt apologies to all whom I have offended.”