Hindus are seeking an apology from Hollywood singer-actress Selena Gomez and multinational sports brand Puma for ‘blatant cultural insensitivity’ in their recent advertising campaign.
The advertisement shows Gomez standing-sitting-foot resting on books.
Books commanded immense respect among Hindus who saw a reflection of goddess Sarasvati in the books.
“It was highly insensitive by Gomez and Puma to display flagrant disrespect to the books for mercantile greed,” Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, stated in Nevada (USA) today.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Gomez and Puma to show some maturity and withdraw all publicity material which depicted Gomez standing-sitting-foot resting on books; besides apologizing.
Rajan Zed pointed out that it was shocking for many to see books, which had transformed lives and empowered the world for centuries, being trivialized by Gomez and Puma to push the PUMA AW19 athleisure collection.
“Selena and the team had a timeless, scholastic mindset when designing the collection”.
Knowledge was sacred and promoting a product by stepping on books with shoes on was a display of poor taste, Zed noted; and added that books had been a source of wisdom and knowledge for humanity and deserved high respect.
Hindus revere Sarasvati as a great goddess of learning and are shown holding the Vedas in one hand. Rig-Veda is considered as the world’s oldest scripture.
Hinduism is also said to be the oldest and third largest religion of the world with around 1.1 billion adherents. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
The SG x PUMA AW19 Collection was reportedly made available globally on December 1st at PUMA.com, PUMA stores, and selected retailers worldwide.
PUMA, headquartered in Herzogenaurach (Germany) and launched in 1948, claims to be “one of the world’s leading sports brands” with products distributed in over 120 countries.
Its mission is “To be the Fastest Sports Brand in the World” and in 2018, its sales reached around 4.6 billion Euros. Bjørn Gulden is CEO, while Jean-Francois Palus is supervisory board chairman.