Hollywood star Pierce Brosnan is “deeply shocked and saddened” about the “deceptive” and “unauthorised” use of his image to promote an Indian pan masala brand.
Brosnan, best known for his stint as the British spy James Bond in the popular film franchise, featured in the ad holding a tin of the pan masala Pan Bahar.
In a statement to people.com, Brosnan said that he has the “greatest love and affection for India and its people”.
“As a man who has spent decades championing women’s healthcare and environmental protection, I was distressed to learn of Pan Bahar’s unauthorised and deceptive use of my image to endorse their range of pan masala products,” he said.
“I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one’s health,” he added.
Brosnan said that his contract detailed that he was to advertise a “breath freshener or tooth whitener”, which wouldn’t include an ingredient that can cause cancer.
He agreed to advertise a single product only, and that it was presented as “all-natural containing neither tobacco, supari, nor any other harmful ingredient”.
“Having endured, in my own personal life, the loss of my first wife and daughter as well as numerous friends to cancer, I am fully committed to supporting women’s healthcare and research programs that improve human health and alleviate suffering,” the statement further read.
The actor has demanded the company to remove his image from all their products, and assured that he had no knowledge that he was endorsing items that would have a negative or painful reaction in India.
He added that Pan Bahar “grossly manipulated” media outlets to falsely present him as a brand ambassador for their entire line of products, something he writes is “in violation of my contract”.
“I shall endeavor to rectify this matter. In the meantime, please accept my sincerest and heartfelt apologies to all whom I have offended,” he said.
After the release of the advertisement earlier this month, Brosnan was criticised by many over various social media platforms for being a part of the pan masala brand.