Former Bollywood actress Shantipriya, who had debuted opposite Akshay Kumar in the 1991 movie Saugandh, opened up on facing racism in the industry. In her latest interview with Navbharat Times, the actress talked about her initial days in Bollywood and how she was looked down upon because of her dark skin. Shantipriya revealed an incident in which Akshay Kumar made fun of her skin colour and that hurt her the most.
“After working in Saugandh, I worked with Akshay in Ikke Pe Ikka. It was a modern character and I had to wear a short dress. I used to wear stockings with dresses. I remember how Akshay used to make fun of me. We were shooting for the climax scene and because I wore a pair of stockings, my knees were looking darker. Apart from Akshay, Pankaj Dheer, Chandani, Prithvi, Raj Sippy, spot boy, makeup man and other people were also present on the set. There were around 100 people. In front of all of them, Akshay said ‘Shantipriya has got big blood clots on her legs’. He repeated the same many times but I couldn’t understand it. I asked him about the blood clots on my legs and he said ‘look at your knees’. I was taken aback when I heard him. I was shocked and embarrassed. I didn’t know how to react and kept thinking about others. It was very uncomfortable and I kept thinking how could Akshay make such a joke in front of so many people.” Said Shantipriya.