Bollywood actress Esha Gupta has faced considerable criticism online after allegedly sharing comments on social media that compared Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi to a gorilla.
The 33-year-old, who is a former Miss India and helped to launch an Arsenal kit in 2017, shared a screenshot from a Whatsapp conversation with a friend on her Instagram Stories.
She reportedly received messages from a friend named Varun_Gupta17 following the Arsenal vs Manchester United game on Friday night, which began: “Solves our winger issues. I can’t see that gorilla faced Iwobi running down the flank again. He’s so bad ya.”
Gupta replied: “Hahahahahaha I honestly dunno why they don’t bench him more.”
Her friend then wrote: “It’s like evolution stopped for him. Didn’t change from Neanderthal to man.”
The actress deleted the screenshot from her Instagram account shortly after posting it, amid a backlash from fans.
“Guys I’m sorry you thought it was racist,” she wrote in an apologetic post.
“Was bad on my part, being a sports lover. Wallah never meant it. Sorry guys forgive the stupidity.
“Well it was my fault. So gotta own up to my s*** sorry. It was us discussing our frustration during the game. Sorry as I didn’t realise it was directed towards racism.
“Laughed over spur of the moment, which was the games result guys. Been victim of racism myself before. But this is not something I’m proud of. It was a fault, sorry guys.”