Highlights

  • Poonam Pandey's staged death to raise awareness about cervical cancer
  • Schbang, the agency behind the campaign, publicly apologized
  • Company also disclosed that Poonam Pandey's mother had battled cancer

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'While we regret any distress caused, if the move results in spreading much needed awareness and preventing deaths, that would be its real impact,’ the post read.

Poonam Pandey’s fake death: Actor’s creative agency apologises after backlash, says no profit involved

Poonam Pandey's controversial staged death to raise awareness about cervical cancer has sparked significant backlash, leading the All Indian Cine Workers Association to advocate for legal action against the model-actor. In response to the uproar, Schbang, the agency behind the campaign, publicly apologized on social media.

The official handle of Schbang shared the apology post. It read, ‘Yes, we were involved in the initiative for Poonam Pandey to spread awareness about Cervical Cancer in collaboration with Hauterfly. To start off, we would like to extend a heartfelt apology – especially towards those who have been triggered as a result of having faced/ having a loved one face the hardships of any kind of Cancer.’

Stressing their controversial action was aimed at raising awareness about cervical cancer, they highlighted alarming statistics in India, and wrote, ‘Our actions were driven by a singular mission – to elevate awareness about Cervical Cancer. In 2022, India registered 123,907 Cervical Cancer cases and 77,348 deaths. After Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer is the second-most frequent malignancy affecting middle aged women in India.’

The company disclosed that Poonam Pandey's mother had battled cancer, underscoring her personal understanding of the disease's impact.

‘Many of you may be unaware but Poonam’s own mother has bravely battled Cancer. Having been through the challenges of battling a disease like this at such close personal quarters, she understands the importance of prevention and the criticality of awareness, especially when a vaccine is available. There was no change in people’s curiosity regarding Cervical Cancer when our Honourable Finance Minister mentioned it no less than a few days ago during the Union Budget. This act by Poonam has now resulted in making ‘Cervical Cancer’ and its related terms the most searched topic(s) on Google. This is the first time in the history of this country that the word ‘Cervical Cancer’ has been on 1000+ Headlines,’ it read.

‘Nevertheless we are deeply apologetic to those who may have been hurt due to this initiative. We understand that our methods may have sparked debate about the approach. While we regret any distress caused, if the move results in spreading much needed awareness and preventing deaths, that would be its real impact,’ the post further read.

‘We want to clarify that this is a pro-bono activity and not commercially linked to any client. This is a Cancer for which 93% of cases are preventable according to the USCDC via a vaccine and everything we do is in service of this being prevented. We hope that the start of this conversation serves as a catalyst for raising life saving awareness about not only Cervical Cancer, but all preventable diseases,’ concluded the apology statement.

Poonam Pandey's 'death' was initially announced on her official Instagram handle, grieving her loss to cervical cancer. Celebrities expressed condolences on social media. However, Poonam later revealed it was a stunt to raise awareness about cervical cancer, sparking backlash. Actor Babil Khan strongly criticized the approach, stating, ‘Faking statements of death should not be something that we rely upon to spread awareness in a collective society.’

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