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Bollywood Star: Playing a Wrestler in My New Movie Made Me Feel Like a Raped Woman

Salman Khan said he was so tired and sore from wrestling in his latest film that he felt like a woman who has been raped.

Salman Khan during Bollywood Rock Stars at Nassau Coliseium - May  22, 2006 at Nassau Coliseium in Hempstead, New York, United States. (Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)
Salman Khan during Bollywood Rock Stars at Nassau Coliseium - May 22, 2006 at Nassau Coliseium in Hempstead, New York, United States. (Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)

If you’re a male actor thinking about comparing how exhausted you are from playing a wrestler in your latest Bollywood film to the way a woman feels after she’s been raped, here’s a good piece of advice: don’t.

That’s something that Indian movie star Salman Khan would have been wise to remember. In a press conference about his upcoming film Sultan, Khan said that when he would “walk out of that ring, it used to be actually like a raped woman walking out.”

Unsurprisingly, it didn’t go over so well for Khan, whose ex-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai has repeatedly accused him of abuse. And that’s not the only dark mark on his reputation. Last year, he gained international notoriety after he got away with a 2002 hit-and-run incident when he crushed five people sleeping outside of a bakery, and left them as he sped away. One man, named Nurullah Mahboob Sharif, died in the incident.

The case left many Indians feeling that celebrities were not treated fairly in the face of the law, but his massive fan club cheered his release, and Khan was free to move forward with projects like Sultan.

In a January article about how he got away without charges, Foreign Policy contributor Sonia Paul wrote that “Khan typically plays muscular, tough, confident, patriotic, religious, and chivalrous men.”

Obviously those qualities don’t do much for India’s National Commission for Women, which has threatened to summon him to an official meeting if he doesn’t issue a public apology. In 2014, there were 337,922 reports of violence against women in India, including rape. Many other cases go unreported, and massive street protests erupted in 2012 after a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi. 

But so far, it’s just Khan’s father apologizing on his son’s behalf.  “The intention was not wrong,” he wrote. “Nevertheless I apologise on behalf of his family his fans & his friends.” A spokesman for Khan has said only that the actor was “joking” when he made the offensive comments, which have gone viral on social media with #InsensitiveSalman.

But as always, his fans were there to back him up, launching another hashtag in protest, #SalmanMisquoted.

Photo Credit: Mychal Watts/WireImage

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