Bollywood actress gives India paper dressing-down over cleavage tweet

Indian Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone appears onstage during a promotional event for the forthcoming Hindi film Finding Fanny written and directed by Homi Adajania and produced by Dinesh Vijan in Mumbai on Aug 11, 2014.  -- PHOTO: AFP
Indian Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone appears onstage during a promotional event for the forthcoming Hindi film Finding Fanny written and directed by Homi Adajania and produced by Dinesh Vijan in Mumbai on Aug 11, 2014.  -- PHOTO: AFP

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone's cleavage became the talk of the town after a top Indian newspaper publicised it, sparking a torrent of criticism against the Times of India.

The newspaper tweet  on Sunday included a photo taken last year with a link to a web photo gallery and caption: "OMG: Deepika Padukone's cleavage show".

The newspaper, amid the criticism, later removed the offending tweet and the gallery but not before attempting damage control by saying it was merely paying "a compliment" to the actress.

But Padukone, who just released a new film Finding Fanny last Friday, was not in the least flattered.

The 28-year-old actress lashed out on Twitter: "YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??"

"Don't talk about Woman's Empowerment when YOU don't know how to RESPECT Women!" she added.

A hashtag #IStandWithDeepikaPadukone in support of the actress's media bashing was swiftly created and went on to become the top trending hashtag on Twitter in India on Monday.

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"They think @deepikapadukone has a cleavage. I think she has got a spine," Hindustan Times columnist Madhavan Narayanan tweeted.

Fellow Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal called the Times' post "cheap sensational journalism" and film director Shoojit Sircar said "that's eve teasing of different kind".

"Appalled....shocked and disgusted at the level of disrespect shown. Deepika or any women in the world cannot and should not stand for this!!" tweeted producer, director Karan Johar.

"Deepika has stirred up a hornet's nest. A section of the media has for years treated women in the entertainment industry disgracefully,"  actress and producer, Dia Mirza, was quoted as saying by the DNA India news site.

"Some papers use their entertainment pages to objectify women. I know many people who have unsubscribed from these publications.

"The irony of it is that these same publications get paid hefty amount of money from us for sponsored stories. It was about time someone reacted," she noted.

Padukone, an A-list actress who started out as a swimsuit model, shot to fame in 2007 when she starred in blockbuster Om Shanti Om opposite Shah Rukh Khan .