May 25, 2009 5:24:42 pm
They are known to fight over films and men but this is really the first instance of two actresses in a free-for-all over an endorsement. Actually its even trivial — this one is for a red-carpet appearance.
Through all of last week we have been witness to some pretty high-voltage drama between Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor over the LOreal-Cannes red carpet appearance. To recap,Sonam who has recently joined the brand,had happily declared that she would be walking the Cannes red carpet in the august company of the likes of Ash,Penelope Cruz and Eva Longoria. She said she and Ash were (ahem) from different generations so itll be a nice balance. Later on,it was alleged that the interview caused a big flutter with Ash. Soon,it escalated into a turf war with Ashs side declaring that Sonam was the local Indian representative while Ash was part of the more prestigious International Dream Team of the brand.
Stories and counter-stories were planted from both sides,prompting LOreal to issue a damage-control statement declaring,There were adverse reports in certain sections of media after some comments by Sonam Kapoor,which were presented out of context. Following this,in order to avoid further escalation,we have advised Sonam not to go to Cannes as was planned earlier,bearing in mind that there would be more interesting opportunities for future appearances in Europe for her.
Eventually,Sonam did not walk the red carpet and Ash made for a stunning photo-op with Elizabeth Banks. But if you think this was the last youll hear about the whole issue,then get this. Sonams well wishers have launched a group on Facebook.
Already,416 members have joined the group,and all of them are demanding an explanation from LOreal on why Sonam was dropped at the last minute. Apparently dad Anil Kapoor is livid with the way his daughter has been treated,and it is expected that he will make his displeasure known when he gets back home from Los Angeles.
So,its all-out war. Strange. Considering that both Sonam and Ash are from different generations (borrowing Sonams words) what was the need to slug it out so publicly over a red-carpet walk? With her eight appearances at the Croisette including jury duty in 2003,Ash is Cannes royalty and the box-office czarina. The two-films-old Sonam,on the other hand,might have successfully established herself as a little Ms Fashionista but she needs a hit badly to consolidate her star stocks.
So,the turf war between the two ladies is definitely not for Bollywood power — it is for international recognition and brand equity. But does it also have something to do with age? Do we believe Sonams side that insists that Ash got insecure of sharing the limelight with the younger actress? And why is it that Sonam has been harping the different generations bit in all her interviews? Is it just plain vanity or a badly managed publicity stunt by LOreal?
The jury is still out. What do you think?
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