Since release, the film has sparked outrage among netizens for 'mocking' the transgender community and 'hurting' Hindu sentiments
Bollywood star Akshay Kumar’s latest film Laxmii, previously titled Laxmmi Bomb, was digitally released on November 9, marking the actor’s first direct-to-digital release.
Starring Kiara Advani, Tusshar Kapoor, Sharad Kelkar and Ashwini Kalsekar in supporting roles, the horror-comedy, which Akshay Kumar called his ‘passion project,’ is a remake of Tamil blockbuster film Muni 2: Kanchana.
Raghava Lawrence, who directed the original, made his Hindi directorial debut with Laxmii.
Since release, the film has sparked an online outrage with netizens calling for a ban and accusing it of transphobia and Hinduphobia. Twitter users are asking why Akshay Kumar, a cisgender heterosexual man, was cast in the role of a transgender woman.
The film has been panned by critics for a dull story line and by netizens for perpetuating stereotypes about the transgender community.
A user wrote, "Laxmii encompasses the vile stereotyping that Trans lives have been subjected to by mainstream media platforms. Reduced to being props and steps for others to use and or mock. Let me remind you, we are not objects."
This film not only making stereotype against trans community but also effeminate men in the society. MY existence is under threat. Our community face bullying and harrassment in daily basis, we don't want more.— SUBHANKAR (@_subhankaar) November 9, 2020
Don't realise laxmii #DisneyStopTransphobia https://t.co/dLY98aFBcM
This is not the first time the film has triggered outrage among audiences. On 29 October, the film's title was changed after a legal notice had been sent to the filmmakers on behalf of Shri Rajput Karni Sena, complaining that the title is disrespectful to Goddess Laxmi.
Akshay Kumar however said, he was mindful about not offending any community. “In my career of 30 years, this is my most mentally intense role. It has been that tough. I've never experienced something like this before.”
"This is unlike any character I've ever played. I had to be careful to portray this character with utmost honesty, without offending any community.”