Actress Neetu Chandra with model Krishikka Gupta during the male fantasy photo shoot for The Man magazine
The enormity of the now-famous ‘male-fantasy’ photo-shoot of Neetu Chandra has hit her like a bolt from the blue.
When Bollywood publicist Dale Bhagwagar first called up the actress to inform her that he will be handling the publicity for the photo-shoot as a project for The Man magazine, the actress didn’t pay much heed. Neetu wasn’t even aware that she was speaking to the same PR guru, who has earlier mastermind the branding of the likes of Priyanka Chopra, Shilpa Shetty and Sherlyn Chopra as ‘Controversy Queens’.
Recently, while the actress was shooting for The Man magazine at a 3-star hotel with model Krishikka Gupta, a group of regular male customers started shouting ‘Jai Maharashtra’ slogans and threatened action from Raj Thackeray′s Maharashrtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). They even tried to confiscate the camera, resulting in the shoot having to be abruptly called off.
Three days later, she was stunned, when she saw her super-hot photo-shoot images splashed across every newspaper, website and channel; suddenly realising, she was in the midst of a huge media hullabaloo. Thanks to the PR specialist, the upcoming actress hit national headlines like never before. The media was abuzz with controversial talks of her sexuality, lesbian connotations of the images and an impending Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) agitation threat.
After talking about the incident initially, the actress suddenly developed cold feet. In an attempt to backtrack and do a volte-face, Neetu stated on her Facebook account, “nothing like that ever happened”.
Earlier, Neetu was quoted by Mid-Day, saying, “The hotel management didn′t tell us to leave because of complaints from other guests but it was a mob of over 80 people that disrupted the shoot They were being a nuisance and that′s why we halted the shoot.”
In The Asian Age today, she has given contradictory quotes feigning ignorance. “I didn′t know anything about this controversy It was shocking Neither our bodies were touching, nor are we kissingI am a Bihari and this can cause a lot of trouble.”
In Neetu′s words (recorded) to the publicist, she has stated, that “the shoot was about how men find sensual female bodies very attractive. It was aesthetically done but the public did not let the shoot happen and we had to cancel it. The members of this group were chauvinist attention seekers. We are part of a hypocrite society and these were frustrated old men. When females are around in bikini and swimwear, they (such men) always want attention ke humein bhi dekho. But who wants to see them?”
Neetu has done few noteworthy films like ‘Garam Masala’, ‘Traffic Signal’ and ‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’ but hasn′t witnessed a media storm like this that too, all within a week. The seeds for a turnaround have now been sown.
Neetu can turn all this free national mileage worth crores of rupees into her favour, by grabbing the opportunity and spinning it to her advantage, or let it fizzle out with time. It will be interesting to see if she can manage to propel herself to the next level with this hot platform.