Freida Pinto, the Indian actress who found fame in the movie Slumdog Millionaire and is now starring in a brutal tale of Indian sex trafficking, Love Sonia, has spoken out about the skin-lightening allegations that dogged her 2011 advertising campaign for cosmetics company L’Oréal.
The contract came under scrutiny when it was suggested that the company had lightened her skin in a campaign.
L’Oréal called the allegations “categorically untrue” at the time, however in a new interview with The Guardian, when asked if she believes her skin was lightened, Pinto is unequivocal: “I’m sure they did, because that’s not the color of my skin you saw in a few of the campaigns,” she says.
Asked if she complained, Pinto replied: “I said to my agent after the first controversy that I would like to see the pictures before, and I would like to be able to question them on color correction.”
She also insisted on having a clause written into her contract that prohibited the country using her image to promote skin-lightening products.
“All the brands, including L’Oréal, have a skin-lightening range that they sell in India and I made them put it in my contract that I would not touch that with a barge pole. If you don’t put it in your contract before you sign on, they can come and you will be compelled to do it.”
Pinto also opens up about working with Woody Allen, and, asked if she would work with him again, tells The Guardian: “No. Absolutely not. I wouldn’t work with him because I’m in solidarity with women who have come out with their stories, whether they are proven or not. I’m just going to stick to what my gut instinct tells me. I’m 34 years old, I’ve worked for 11 years in this industry, I’m not desperate and I will never be desperate.”