The fairness cream played the role of a solution to the problem of having dark skin. It was being secretly applied by a male UP cop in the movie Raat Akeli Hai.
Jatil Yadav, a dark-skinned Kanpur cop secretly uses HUL’s fairness cream Fair&Lovely. Jatil is a character played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the latest crime mystery movie Raat Akeli Hai. In the movie, the cream is positioned as a solution to Yadav’s matrimonial woe, the one of rejection from prospective brides due to his dark skin.
The movie was released on Netflix on July 31, a little over a month after HUL announced that the company will stop using the word ‘Fair’ in the brand name ‘Fair & Lovely’. The move came in light of the anti-racist protests in the US following the death of African American citizen George Floyd. HUL eventually replaced the word ‘Fair’ with ‘Glow’ in the brand name.
While there were multiple references of a fairness cream, the brand appears on-screen for the first time in the 45th minute. Also, it is interesting how the cream despite being heavily targeted at the young female target group is seen as a solution for a man. It upholds the insecurities of a dark skinned Indian male.
We couldn’t ascertain if it was an official partnership sanctioned by HUL. An email shared with the company in this regard did not elicit a response. We shall update the article as and when we receive a response.
When asked about the scene, Siddiqui told several publications that his connection with Fair&Lovely goes back to his boyhood spent in Budhana, his hometown in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. Siddiqui used to knowingly use fake Fair&Lovely creams (due to unavailability of original) bought from the local markets. He revealed that the packaging would often carry misspelled brand names, e.g. Fare&Lovely.
The brand makes a second presence around the 141st minute as the movie nears its end. In the last scene, a confident Jatil who had just solved a complicated murder mystery, drops his pursuit of fair skin. He throws away the Fair&Lovely tube in the dustbin.