After being accused of making sexist remarks against badminton player Saina Nehwal, actor Siddharth on Tuesday took to social media to apologise. In an open letter, he called Saina his champion, and said that he was trying to make a joke with his original comment, but it ‘didn’t land’. The shuttler responded to Siddharth’s apology by saying that the matter is ‘about women’ and wondered why the actor changed his stance after making the comment.
“He only said it and he is now apologising. I was surprised to see myself trending on Twitter that day. I haven’t spoken to him but I am happy that he apologised,” she said on the sidelines of the ongoing India Open, according to news agency PTI. “See, it is about women, he shouldn’t target a woman like that but it’s okay, I am not bothered about it, I am happy in my space and god bless him,” she added.
Identifying himself as an ‘ally’ of the feminist movement, Siddharth wrote in his open letter, “Dear Saina, I want to apologise to you for my rude joke that I wrote as a response to a tweet of yours, a few days ago. I may disagree with you on many things but even my disappointment or anger when I read your tweet, cannot justify my tone and words. I know I have more grace in me than that. As for the joke… If a joke needs to be explained, then it wasn’t a very good joke to begin with. Sorry about a joke that didn’t land.”
He continued, “I, however must insist my word play and humour had none of the malicious intent that so many people from all quarters have attributed to it. I am a staunch feminist ally and I assure you there was no gender implied in my tweet and certainly no intent to attack you as a woman. I hope we can put this behind us and that you will accept my letter. You will always be my Champion. Honestly, Siddharth.”
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) January 11, 2022
In his now-deleted original tweet, Siddharth had commented on Saina’s condemnation of PM Narendra Modi’s security breach in Punjab recently. National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma had slammed the remarks, calling for a suspension of his account and suggesting that she will take the matter up with the police.
Saina, who is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, spoke about the incident with PTI. She said, “Yeah, I’m not sure what he meant. I used to like him as an actor but this was not nice. He can express himself with better words but I guess it’s Twitter and you remain noticed with such words and comments.”