Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar has backed off from an endorsement after severe backlash. The actor was recently seen endorsing tobacco with his fellow costars Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn. 

Taking to Twitter, the Rowdy Rathode star penned, “I am sorry. I would like to apologise to you, all my fans and well-wishers. Your reaction over the past few days has deeply affected me. While I have not and will not endorse tobacco, I respect the outpouring of your feelings in light of my association with Vimal Elaichi. With all humility, I step back.”

He went on to add, “I have decided to contribute the entire endorsement fee towards a worthy cause. The brand might continue airing the ads till the legal duration of the contract that is binding upon me, but I promise to be extremely mindful in making my future choices. In return, I shall forever continue to ask for your love and wishes.”

While Akshay’s apology has been making waves on social media, Ajay, who also features in the commercial, weighed in on the controversy. In his interaction with Indian Express, Ajay was asked how actors often face criticism for the products they choose to endorse. 

Commenting on the same, he said, “It is a personal choice. When you do something, you also see how harmful it would be. Some things are harmful, some are not. I would say it without naming it because I don’t want to promote it; I was doing elaichi. What I feel is more than advertisements, if certain things are so wrong, then they should not be sold.” 

In 2018, Akshay asserted he would never endorse tobacco ad for a healthy India – no matter the amount he would be offered. However, the recent ad made many question the actor’s earlier claim. The aforementioned statement went viral recently when an old video of Akshay confirming the same made rounds on social media. 

After Akshay’s video went viral, users are also calling his apology fake and trolled him once again. Many are furious that despite tall claims, why did the Khiladi star advertise the tobacco brand. 

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