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The BBC Ignorantly Used Footage Of Amitabh Bachchan While Covering Shashi Kapoor's Death

"We don't all look the same."

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The entertainment industry was dealt a huge blow last evening, as veteran actor Shashi Kapoor died in Mumbai at the age of 79.

Strdel / AFP / Getty Images

It isn't just India that's grieving, though. Having been part of numerous international films and collaborations over the years, Kapoor's death has prompted tributes from media houses around the world.

Merchant Ivory

The BBC, which is lauded the world over for its unbiased and accurate reporting, was one such news agency. Unfortunately, it messed up by airing footage of Amitabh Bachchan from Kabhie Kabhie while covering the story.


It went on to double down on the faux pas by following it with a clip of Kapoor's nephew Rishi Kapoor.


In fact, the BBC didn't show Shashi Kapoor's face even once in the segment about his death, and people were not amused.

Hang on @bbcnews Shashi Kapoor has died not Amitabh Bachan or Rishi Kapoor, who you've weirdly used to illustrate t…

It got called out by hordes of people for making an amateur mistake that could only stem from some terrible ignorance and callousness.

Shocking to note @BBC insults a veteran actor Shashi Kapoor by showing clips of @SrBachchan & @chintskap whilst rep…

And calls were made to make sure they knew just how insulting their error was being perceived as.

I'm really annoyed about the BBC Shashi Kapoor thing. DOES ANYONE GIVE A DAMN? If you do, please tweet the editor @paulroyall

It wasn't just Indians, either. The BBC got dragged by people all over for perpetrating the "all brown people look the same" stereotype.

@paulroyall I hope you now have a photograph of the real Shashi Kapoor? Poor man can't even rest in peace because t…

And many suggested that they take steps to promote diversity in their newsroom to prevent errors like this from happening in the future.

@WritersofColour @BBCNews I was sitting there thinking "why the hell are they showing classic footage of Amitabh…

Eventually, news editor Paul Royall apologised for the screw-up, stating that it wasn't up to their "usual standards".

#BBCNewsTen is very sorry wrong images were used to mark the death of Shashi Kapoor. Not our usual standards and I apologise for any upset.

But, as this one user put it, "Really gurl?"

@WritersofColour @BBCNews Really gurl @huwbbc

Sahil Rizwan is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Mumbai.

Contact Sahil Rizwan at

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