Kerala hospital uses Morgan Freeman's photo for skincare ad, apologizes
A hospital in Kozhikode, Kerala has issued an apology for using the photo of Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman to promote their skincare facility. Vadakara Co-operative Hospital had placed the advertisement board having the face of the 84-year-old stalwart by a road, which went viral, angering netizens. After facing massive backlash on social media, the management has apologized for their "unintentional mistake."
It all started with the advertisement that claimed Vadakara provides skincare services like removal of dark tan, milia, and molluscum, among others. It read, "Get your skin tags, DPNs, warts, milia, molluscum, and comedones removed through simple procedures in a single visit (sic)". Vadakara used Freeman's picture for it. Naturally, social media users were irked and criticized the hospital for being "racist and ignorant."
"Vadakara 'Co-operative' Hospital is an insult to the great co-operative sector in Kerala," commented film critic GP Ramachandran. He also listed some of Freeman's acclaimed movies, which were shared by author Sree Parvathy. "Those who lifted the picture of Morgan from the internet failed to identify the Oscar-winning actor and went by his skin color, rashes on his face and African-American heritage," she wrote.
Sir, .@morgan_freeman your picture is used as a poster at a dermatology department advt board in hospital in Kerala, India.— Rejimon Kuttappan (@rejitweets) January 31, 2022
Using your picture as sample, they are claiming to make everyone free from dark tan, wrinkles, pigments.... pic.twitter.com/54plREcswi
Facing heat, the hospital authorities issued a press release along with their apology note, reported The News Minute. "The picture on the billboard of the dermatology department of Vadakara Co-operative Hospital is an unintentional mistake. The board was removed and action was taken as soon as it was brought to our notice. We tender unconditional apologies if it has hurt anyone," the statement read.
T Sunil, the marketing manager of Vadakara Co-operative Hospital, told The New Indian Express, "The picture was taken from the internet and the board displayed [it] near the casualty on January 26 (Wednesday)." "When we came to know about the gaffe, it was removed on Saturday. There was no intention to defame the great actor," he added.
This, however, isn't the first time the noted performer's picture was used wrongly on a billboard. In 2013, a Coimbatore-based merchant decided to pay tribute to former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela, who died that year in December. Instead of using the photo of the anti-apartheid hero, the board used Freeman's. It was taken down eventually. Interestingly, Freeman had played Mandela in Invictus.