Ahead of the release of their upcoming film 'Laxmii,' actor Akshay Kumar launched the campaign 'Ab Humari Baari Hai' and posted a photo that showed him wearing a red bindi on the forehead.
The actor had used a filter on social media to render the effect. In a black and white photograph he posted on his verified Instagram and Twitter accounts, Akshay sports a big red bindi.
"Maine toh laga li hai pyaar aur samanta ki Laal Bindi (I have worn the red bindi as a mark of love and equality). Now it's your turn to join me using 'Ab Hamari Baari Hai' filter on Instagram as a symbol of love and acceptance for the third gender!"
Tusshar Kapoor, who is also a part of the forthcoming film, shared a picture of himself on his verified Twitter account using the same filter.
Lauding Akshay for the move, 'Bigg Boss 13' winner Sidharth Shukla took to social media to share a picture of himself donning a red bindi and wrote, "Really admire the initiative that Akki sir has started. We got to take a step beyond and show love, acceptance and support towards the third gender. Let’s wear the Laal Bindi and come together kyunki #AbHamariBaariHai unka saath dene ki jinhone aaj tak hamari khushi mein saath diya."
While a few fans of the actor used the filter to click their photographs and shared it on Twitter, the promotional stunt of Akshay's upcoming film hasn't gone down well with a section of netizens.
Several social media users slammed Akshay for the 'cheap publicity stunt'.
A user wrote, "Doing this cheap stunt for promotion of upcoming film makes us to eliminate u from list of ppl whose movies we will see !!! not gonna watch any of your project in future."
"Ideally if you wanted to showcase love and acceptance, it would have been great if the third gender actors were acting and promoted in the movie. I hardly know a third gender actor successful in Hindi film industry. Instead of becoming third gender ourselves and generalising it, it will be better if Hindi Film industry give them an opportunity as actors and empower themselves," suggested another user.
"Oh is it nice to use people for your benefits... U know the nerve of people but hey this time u will miserably fail I assume," wrote another user.
"Faltu ke promotion kyun kar rahe ho sirji jab theatre mein aa hi nahi rahi yeh film? (Why are you even promoting this film when it is not even releasing on the theatres?)" asked another user.
(With inputs from IANS)