The Cut is facing massive backlash for publishing a piece which calls actor Priyanka Chopra a global scam artist. The piece, which is being dubbed as one of the nastiest piece of reporting on social media, has even earned terse criticism from people who do not like Chopra. As per excerpts published in The Outlook, the article blatantly calls Chopra’s marriage to Nick fake, calling her a “money minded celebrity who calculatingly married Nick Jonas, thinking it as a powerful move towards her career”.

SOME TAKEAWAYS-

  • The Cut published an article which called Priyanka Chopra “money minded celebrity who calculatingly married Nick Jonas, thinking it as a powerful move towards her career”.
  • Readers have called this piece of work sexist, racist, vile, mean, bitter and even unethical.
  • The Cut has apologised for publishing this piece only after severe backlash. This makes its apology more like damage control than remorseful.
  • When you are writing about a biracial celeb couple, certain sensitivity is required to broach the topic, which was missing here.

It further adds, “All Nick wanted was a possible fling with Hollywood’s latest It Woman, but instead he wound up staring straight at a life sentence with a global scam artist.” The article also claims that it was Chopra’s scheme to monetise their wedding, and that this “should have been a huge red flag for Nick, but the poor thing seems to be blinded by love”.

Readers have called this piece of work sexist, racist, vile, mean, bitter and even unethical (correct as per my opinion). The Cut has now retracted the article, apologizing and even stating that it didn’t meet the magazine’s standards. However, what is beyond me, is that the editors at The Cut even chose to publish it. It was up for hours on their magazine, spewing nastiness at a newly married woman nonetheless.

There is no excuse for endorsing a piece on their platform, which openly calls a woman a schemer, which a criminal activity, with such confidence, purely based on conjuncture.

This is nasty journalism

There is satire, there is criticism and then there is nastiness, and this piece of writing and editing didn’t belong to the first two categories. What is more depressing is that this piece was written by a woman. It shows why us women have so much hard time to champion our kind, because some of us would rather resort to loathing, than tackle disapproval with some taste. Chopra is a powerful and popular global celebrity in her own right, and even Hollywood acknowledges that. To call a woman who has millions of followers on social media, still holds numerous lucrative and high paying brand endorsement deals in more countries than one, as someone who married Jonas to cash in on his popularity is hilarious, even to those who do not like PC

So, the Jonas-Chopra wedding did set many tongues wagging. The monetisation of wedding video, photographs, etc and the suddenness of it all has raised doubts among many on the credibility of their romance. But this article didn’t show any doubts about the nature of this relationship. It went ahead to paint Chopra an evil woman with the gusto of a war cry.

The writer portrayed her as some kind of scheming, greedy seductress, who doesn’t know how to tighten her purse strings, and hence lured in poor naïve Jonas into a scheme, to earn more money and fame

When you are writing about a biracial celeb couple, certain sensitivity is required to broach the topic, which was missing here. But what is writer and comedian (seriously?) Mariah Smith’s problem here exactly? What is it about Chopra that summoned such hate and dismissal from Smith? That Chopra is an older woman who loves to buy diamonds with her own hard-earned money? Or that she managed to “score” a white man in his prime and secure her future in Hollywood? Perhaps she is so disapproving of her just because she couldn’t fathom an outsider in Hollywood playing by all the tricks in the trade and making the most of it. So is it her success, as a thirty something Asian woman, that sits like the taste of spoiled milk on Smith’s tongue?

Whatever may be the reason, Smith should have held her peace and pen, and stopped writing this piece altogether, when the words “global scam artist” first popped up in her head

Even the editors at The Cut should have stopped reading it any further after those words appeared, let alone publish it. One line apology on their part is not enough because calling someone a fraud is damn serious business. The piece appeared not up to the mark to them only after backlash. Which makes their apology sound more like damage control than remorseful.

Musing whether or not Chopra-Jonas union is real, and calling the bride a cheat who is victimising the poor groom is purely sexist and offensive. It plays on traditional western beliefs that still see women of colour as immigrants who want to exploit riches of the great nation. Hence, even a Nick Jonas becomes a “big ticket” and a Priyanka Chopra an opportunist. Just what will it take to put forth that all those women who marry Hollywood men are not golddiggers! Or that white men are not desperate gullible fools who can be coerced into climbing a horse. Or into committing to a “life long sentence”.

Whatever there is between the couple is mutual. Unless you have concrete evidence to prove otherwise, don’t slander a woman’s image so openly. Because such gossip belongs in dark social media alleys. Millions of us choose to bypass those alleys and read magazines for our fill of internet reading for a reason. We expect responsible, gracious and tasteful writing from these global platforms, with a reach to millions. But whatever happened yesterday was not proper journalism, and perhaps that should bother The Cut team more than anything else.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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