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Vivek Oberoi deletes tweet, apologizes after notice from NCW

The actor deleted the tweet sharing a meme on the exit polls featuring one-time girlfriend Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and apologized as 'remedial action'.

Shriram Iyengar

Vivek Oberoi has apologized after a notice from the National Commission for Women (NCW) over his sharing of a meme on exit polls that depicted ex-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Having deleted the tweet, the actor also tendered an apology on his social media account. 

In his own defence, the PM Narendra Modi (2019) actor wrote, "Sometimes what appears to be funny and harmless at first glance to one may not be so to others. I have spent the last 10 years empowering more than 2,000 underprivileged girls, I can't even think of being disrespectful to any woman ever." 

The apology came hours after Oberoi appeared to be digging his heels in, telling the news agency ANI, "I have no problems with apologizing, but tell me what wrong I have done? If I have done something wrong, I will apologize." 

The controversy erupted on Monday 20 May when the actor shared a meme that poked fun at the exit polls mania. That was fine, except that the meme used Rai Bachchan and her relationships as a focal point. Oberoi was in a relationship with the actress in 2003, before her eventual marriage to Abhishek Bachchan. 

The tweet did not go down well with several women, including journalist Nidhi Razdan, Rupa Subramanya and badminton star Jwala Gutta. Even Sonam Kapoor Ahuja slammed Oberoi's tweet as 'disgusting and classless'.

The furore led to the National Commission For Women responding by sending Oberoi a notice to explain his action.

Surprisingly, the actor initially appeared to defend himself, even taking a dig at Kapoor Ahuja's response. In a quote to ANI, Oberoi said, "You should overact a little less in your films, and overreact less on social media." 

Regardless, the actor eventually tendered an apology on social media. 

The controversy came bang in the middle of the promotions for Oberoi's upcoming biopic on prime minister Narendra Modi. The film, directed by Omung Kumar B, had been prevented from being released in the midst of the general election.

PM Narendra Modi is set to be released in theatres on Friday 24 May.