Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has sparked controversy in India by saying his heavy training schedule for an upcoming film left him feeling “like a raped woman.”
Khan made the comments in an interview to promote his latest Bollywood movie Sultan, which tells the story of an ageing wrestler trying to make a comeback.
“When I used to walk out of the ring, after the shoot, I used to feel like a raped woman. I couldn’t walk straight,” 50-year-old Khan said in an interview with local news site spotboye.com published on Monday.
India’s National Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday demanded a public apology, calling the comments “reprehensible,” following an outcry on social media.
“It’s not only a wrong statement, it’s very irresponsible and callous for a man whose fame and wealth is based on the adoration of his female fans,” the head of NCW Lalitha Kumaramangalam told the Press Trust of India news agency in an interview.
The Bollywood star also said he had been able to quit every “vice” except women, giving up cigarettes, coffee and alcohol but not female company.
His father, Bollywood lyricist Salim Khan, took to Twitter to apologize on his son’s behalf, but insisted that “the intention (behind the comments) was not wrong.”
Khan is one of Bollywood’s biggest box-office draws, starring in more than 100 films and television shows since his first hitMaine Pyar Kiya (I Fell in Love) in the 1980s.
But his personal life has long been dogged by controversy.
Last year he was cleared of killing a homeless man in a hit-and-run crash and he is battling allegations he used unlicensed arms to shoot antelopes in western India.