Akshay Kumar apologised to his fans on Thursday for joining on as a brand ambassador for a tobacco company. Along with Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn, who are already Vimal ambassadors, Akshay has participated in an ad for the brand. Fans chastised Akshay over the move, considering the star has previously pushed fitness and a good lifestyle. Ajay Devgn stated his stance on the issue.

Ajay was asked about the brand sponsorship during recent promotions for his forthcoming film Runway 34.

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According to News 18, the Drishyam actor, who has appeared in multiple advertisements for the same brand, “I don’t discuss that. I would not like to comment on it but all I’d say is that when you are endorsing something it’s a personal choice. Everyone is mature to make a decision for themselves.”

Ajay continued, “I would say it without naming it because I don’t want to promote it; I was doing elaichi. What I feel is more than advertisements, if certain things are so wrong, then they should not be sold.”

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For the uninitiated, Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, and Akshay Kumar, three of Bollywood’s biggest stars, recently appeared together in an advertisement for a gutka-selling firm. They began teasing the trio shortly after the ad was noticed by fans and the audience. Akshay Kumar was chastised by fans for his “dual standards.”

Earlier on Thursday, around 1 a.m., Akshay apologised to his fans on social media for accepting an ad agreement with a tobacco company. Akshay wrote in his apologies, “I am sorry. I would like to apologise to you, all my fans and well-wishers. Your reaction over the past few days has deeply affected me. While I have not and will not endorse tobacco, I respect the outpouring of your feelings in light of my association with Vimal Elaichi. With all humility, I step back. I have decided to contribute the entire endorsement fee towards a worthy cause. The brand might continue airing the ads till the legal duration of the contract that is binding upon me, but I promise to be extremely mindful in making my future choices. In return, I shall forever continue to ask for your love and wishes.”

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Fans applauded the actor’s admission of guilt and public acknowledgement after his revelation. Another comment said, “We youth consider you to be our idol; you don’t need any such ad.” Akshay has promised to donate his ad fee to a “deserving cause.”