Mumbai: Terming a report claiming he had returned as the ambassador of a paan masala brand “fake news”, superstar Akshay Kumar says he had distanced himself from the product after he publicly withdrew his association from the endorsement last year.
An online portal on Monday shared an article on X with the caption: “#AkshayKumar returns as the ambassador of Vimal Pan Masala; features along with #AjayDevgn and #ShahRukhKhan in the new commercial”.
Akshay, who in April 2022 had announced his decision to cut ties with the brand, said the ads were shot back in 2021.
‘Returns’ as ambassador? Here’s some fact check for you Bollywood Hungama, if by chance you are interested in things other than fake news. These ads were shot on 13 October 2021.
“I have not had anything to do with the brand ever since I publicly announced the discontinuation of the endorsement. They can legally run the already-shot ads till the end of next month. Chill and do some real news,” the 56-year-old wrote on X in response to the report.
After the brand’s latest ad commercial was broadcast on Sunday evening, a section of social media users called out Akshay for being a “hypocrite”. Others supported him saying the ad may have been shot before he backed out as the brand ambassador.
The portal later updated its story with the actor’s response.
Last year, Akshay came under fire for endorsing the brand, with social media users digging up an old video where he had vouched to never promote tobacco.
Following the backlash, the actor issued a statement and apologized to fans for featuring in the advertising campaign. The brand might continue airing the ads till the “legal duration of the contract that is binding upon me”, he had further said.