Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda was on Thursday removed as the ambassador of the Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, an environmental treaty of the United Nations.
In recent weeks, multiple stand-up comics and other influencers have been called out for making casteist and sexist jokes. Some of those drawing criticism had made jokes at the expense of Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati.
On Tuesday, after a Twitter user shared the old clip of Hooda making the joke at a chat show, the actor was heavily criticised on social media. Hooda has not commented on the matter yet.
“The Secretariat of the Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) has become aware of a video clip of CMS Ambassador Randeep Hooda from around 2012 that was recently posted on social media,” the statement from the organisation’s secretariat, released on Thursday, read. “The CMS Secretariat finds the comments made in the video to be offensive, and they do not reflect the values of the CMS Secretariat or the United Nations.”
Hooda was appointed as an ambassador for migratory species in February 2020, owing to his contribution for the conservation of wildlife. The organisation said it was unaware of the video when he was appointed.
“While CMS is a treaty of the United Nations, it is separate from both the UN Secretariat and the UN Environment Programme,” the statement said. “The only entity for which Mr Hooda served as a brand Ambassador was CMS.”
The organisation is also called the Bonn Convention. Hooda was nominated as the ambassador along with environmentalist Sacha Dench from Australia and British biologist Ian Redmond, according to The Indian Express.
Among those criticising Hooda for his jokes was Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation Politburo member Kavita Krishnan. “Caste radicalisation makes Hooda see a Dalit woman as unattractive, not just to him, but to all,” one of her tweets said. “His ‘joke’ appeals to other caste radicalised people, whose claps imply that a dark Dalit woman’s ‘ugliness’ is ‘universally’ accepted.”