Why Priyanka Chopra Jonas Is Getting Slammed for Her Support of #BlackLivesMatter

Priyanka Chopra Jonas is weighing in on social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement on social media, like a number of other celebrities. But before she moved to the U.S. and married Nick Jonas, Chopra was a famous Bollywood star in India. Now, after reading her post, many are calling the actress out for hypocrisy because of her endorsement of skin-whitening products.

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra | ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images

Priyanka Chopra Jonas shares a lengthy post about George Floyd on Instagram 

On May 25, George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed in police custody. For over eight minutes, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck, resulting in his death. The incident was caught on video and inspired numerous protests in cities all around the world. 

In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Chopra posted a black and white quote of Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe.” And in the caption, she wrote a lengthy message about the need for justice.

“There is so much work to be done and it needs to start [sic] at an individual level on a global scale,” Chopra wrote in the caption. “We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves and end this hate. End this race war here in the US, and around the world. Wherever you live, whatever your circumstances, NO ONE deserves to die, especially at the hands of another because of their skin color.”

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The actress is slammed for her past endorsement of skin creams

After reading her Instagram post, many felt Chopra was being a hypocrite. For starters, some called the actress out for her endorsements of skin-lightening creams. 

“Where was this solidarity when you fed into the south Asian anti-blackness by literally shilling for a fairness cream?” one Instagram user commented under Chopra’s post. “Your solidarities are tailored to your audiences and serve only one party- you.”

“What hypocrisy, dude?” another instagram user wrote. “You never stood against the fairness creams in your country to begin with and suddenly you think asking people to text ‘Floyd’ to a number will undo it all? No. Not that easy.”

Chopra’s parents both served in the Indian Army, and she’s previously stated that she feels a kinship to the military. But some are pointing out that Chopra’s support for the Indian Army and Mumbai police contradicts her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Responding to her post, some claimed she’s been silent about social injustices in her home country.  

“You speak out against police brutality against black communities, which everyone should,” one Instagram user commented. “But on the other hand, you have consistently supported the Indian army when they have consistently harmed minorities particularly in Kashmir.”

Priyanka Chopra regrets using skin lightening creams

In a 2017 interview with Vogue India, Chopra talked about the culture of fairness in India and revealed that she was critical of her own skin tone as a young teen. “Before 15, I had a lot of self-esteem issues,” the actress said. “I was very conscious of the color of my skin.”

Chopra appeared in ads for Garnier and Ponds skin-lightening or “whiteness” creams as a young actress in India. But after seeing them, she said she instantly regretted the decision.

“When I was an actor, around my early twenties, I did a commercial for a skin-lightening cream,”  said Chopra. “I was playing that girl with insecurities, and when I saw it, I was like, ‘Oh sh*t. What did I do?’ I started talking about being proud of the way I looked, I actually like my skin tone.”

And in late 2019, when Indian students were protesting discrimination by the country’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, Chopra condemned violence by the Indian police. 

“In a thriving democracy, to raise one’s voice peacefully and be met with violence is wrong,” Chopra tweeted in December 2019. “Every voice counts. And each voice will work towards changing India.”

Many are calling out Chopra for hypocrisy. But after weighing her past interviews and posts, it looks like she has evolved as a social activist, and has taken consistent more steps in promoting justice in the last few years.