Actor-model Poonam Pandey faked her own death from cervical cancer to spread awareness about the HPV vaccine. Let that sink in. A day after numerous celebrities, fans, and know-alls went back and forth about the circumstances of her ‘death’ and her family and PR team evading calls, Poonam released a video on Saturday declaring she’s well and alive. However, while some of the conversations did revolve around cervical cancer, like she supposedly wanted with Friday’s death stunt, here’s why her publicity gimmick did more harm than good. (Also Read | Pooja Bhatt deletes tweet about Poonam Pandey after fake death stunt, explains why)
Dwindling the importance of the vaccine
Poonam Pandey pulled her death stunt just a day after it was announced that the government intends to include the HPV vaccine for girls aged 9-14 in the country’s immunisation programme. Instead of spreading awareness about why it’s imperative people get their children vaccinated, her stunt did the exact opposite. What could have and should have been a healthy conversation around women’s health was reduced into a tone-deaf stunt.
Her intentions can’t matter
A PR team somewhere sat down, discussed it and greenlit this idea for her to pull off. They coordinated to pull a fast one not just over the media, but also Poonam’s friends, fans and social media followers. While Poonam claims she had nothing but good intentions, while pulling this stunt, you can’t help but wonder why they couldn’t have found a better way to ‘spread awareness.’ Right now, the only thing the stunt managed to do is keep Poonam in the news.
The issue with influencer culture
It’s not a laughing matter, when a death hoax is pulled — even if it is by the celeb themselves. In a country with an unhealthy obsession with celebrities and their lives, the repercussions could’ve been far worse. It’s already an issue many celebs face, when netizens decide to spread rumours on someone’s health without proof. To spread such rumours about yourself is nothing but dangerous. It just proves that anything can be done to gain clout, even faking death.
A mockery of the disease itself
Cancer is not a laughing matter, especially cervical cancer. Even within the film industry there are actors, who have battled cancer, and emerged on the other side, affected but victorious. Anyone who has been touched by cancer would’ve been triggered for 24 whole hours for no reason because Poonam and her team thought it was a great idea to pull a publicity stunt to keep her in the news.
Problem child extraordinaire
This is not the first time and will probably not be the last time that Poonam sought problematic methods to stay in the news. So, this is just another feather added to her already full cap. Instead, the repercussions will be felt by other celebs now. Some will be inspired by it, harmless others will pay the price. Imagine hearing about someone’s death on social media again. Even if it’s legit, would you believe it? Exactly!
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