Bollywood star Esha Gupta is in hot water for a racially charged remark about Nigerian Arsenal star Alex Iwobi.

The 33-year-old actress, who Business Standards writes also serves as an Indian ambassador to the English Premier League club, posted a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation between her and a friend to her Instagram story Sunday

In the now-deleted post, Gupta and her friend joked about the forward’s looks, saying they couldn’t see “that gorilla faced Iwobi running down the flank again.”

Fans of the club were disgusted with the Jannat 2 star’s comments and called on Arsenal officials to remove Gupta from her post as ambassador to the club and furthermore ban her from attending future matches.

After facing considerable backlash, Gupta issued a mea culpa via her Twitter account hours later. However, many didn’t buy the model’s apology, as the wording implied she was sorry fans thought it was racist, rather than accepting she made a racist remark.


Shortly after, she released a follow-up to her first apology.

This brought on even more dissatisfaction from supporters, who drew ire because instead of acknowledging her fault, she attempted to shift the conversation from her original comment to claiming she has been a victim of racism herself.


There is no official word from Arsenal Football Club on if it plans to discipline Gupta for her disparaging words. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Black athletes playing on Premier League clubs have faced instances of racism.

In December, Manchester City player Raheem Sterling was a victim of racial abuse during a soccer match by four supporters of opposing team Chelsea. Per The Guardian, Chelsea Football Club consequently banned the fans from attending future games as the investigation continues.