AceShowbiz - Priyanka Chopra was confronted by an audience member at a Beautycon event in Los Angeles on Saturday, August 10 over her support for the Indian Armed Forces amid a conflict between India and Pakistan. A Pakistani woman named Ayesha Malik called the actress a "hypocrite" for "encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan" while serving as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
"It was kind of hard hearing you talk about humanity because as your neighbor, a Pakistani, I know you're a bit of a hypocrite," Ayesha said to the "Quantico" alum, who was sitting on the stage. "You are a UNICEF ambassador for peace and you're encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan. There's no winner in this. As a Pakistani, millions of people like me have supported you in your business of Bollywood," she continued, before her microphone was grabbed away.
"I hear you. Whenever you're done venting. Got it? Done? OK, cool," Priyanka responded to Ayesha. Defending herself, she then said, "I have many, many friends from Pakistan and I am from India. And war is not something that I'm really fond of, but I am patriotic, so I'm sorry if I hurt sentiments to people who do love me and have loved me, but I think that all of us have a sort of middle ground that we all have to walk, just like you probably do as well."
The 37-year-old then criticized Ayesha's approach in voicing her opinion to the actress. "The way you came at me right now, girl, don't yell. We're all here for love. Don't yell. Don't embarrass yourself," she said. "Thank you for your enthusiasm and your question and your voice."
After videos of the incident were posted on Twitter, people have slammed Priyanka for her demeanor and reaction to the criticism. Some people called her "rude," while others got the impression that she's indeed a hypocrite who can't be neutral despite her role as an UN Ambassador.
"I thought the young lady was spot on and not angry or 'venting' she was calling you out? Answer her question instead of trying to make her look bad, it didn't work," one commented. Someone else similarly wrote, "Whenever you're done venting...'. Ffs, Priyanka. Also, resign from your UNICEF gig."
Another drew a conclusion from Priyanka's answer, "In other words, shut up and go away. I am love, and you're just a pest. The question was serious; she wasn't just 'venting'." Someone else reacted, "I know almost nothing about Priyanka Chopra, but after viewing her rude response and demeanor, I'd say she is not diplomat material. Where is the love she's talking about being here for? Def didn't feel it in her tone or reply."
"She showed her true colors that her only allegiance is to India and They can do what they want to Muslims and Pakistan according to @priyankachopra and her condescending tone I wouldn't want her to represent a fly," wrote another Twitter user. A person called her response "lame," while someone else dubbed her "so repugnant."
Still, there are some people who defended Priyanka. "Her dad was a physician in the Indian Army. She's an Indian citizen. Why shouldn't she support the Indian armed forces? India has done nothing wrong in taking action in the Indian state of Kashmir. What's controversial about her support?" one argued.
Another hit back at the critics, "This is ridiculous. She can't voice her opinion without backlash? Yes she's an 'ambassador' but cmon. Born and raised in India, she's experienced the issues and well versed. Also Pakistan is farrrrrrrr from being angelic."
Meanwhile, Ayesha took to Twitter on Sunday to address Priyanka's response to her statement. "Hi, I'm the girl that 'yelled' at Priyanka Chopra," she tweeted. "It was hard listening to her say, 'we should be neighbors and love each other' - swing that advice over to your PM. Both India and Pakistan were in danger. And instead she tweeted out in favor for nuclear war."