A day after singer Neha Kakkar and her brother Tony Kakkar called out Sony TV and their comedians Gauarv GeraKiku Sharda for performing an insensitive gag on the singer, Gaurav apologised to her. In his latest statements to a daily, Gaurav Gera, who’s known as Chutki on-screen, mentioned he was extremely guilty for hurting Neha and making fun of her talent because he never intended to do so.

Gaurav talked to The Times of India and said he himself is a big fan of Neha and admires her for her talent. The actor said he doesn’t know her personally but appreciates her talent. Gaurav even talked about Neha’s social media presence and said she enjoys a fan following of 30 million people on Instagram, therefore, he’s nobody to pull her down on national television. The actor, who was seen in Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin earlier, went on to say that both he and his co-star Kiku Sharda were given a few lines by the channel and the show’s writer and their job was just to act. Gaurav was quoted saying, “My idea was not to hurt her. She is fantastic, a rockstar and she doesn’t need me to say it. I didn’t even know about the height part, and I myself don’t have an average height. Kiku is short-heighted. We make fun of each other so much in all the episodes. Meri koi aukat nahi hai to tell her anything… (I am no one to comment on her). I really had no idea that she would be so hurt.”

Gaurav even revealed that when he got the lines, both he and Kiku tried to tone them down and removed a lot of things because they felt it was not in a good taste. However, he said they were just the actors who were hired to mouth a few lines and they had to do that. The actor asserted that he always stay away from controversies and never even gets involved in something which he feels is going over the board with comedy. The actor further blamed the channel and said he thought the makers would be aware of the sensibilities after creating many comedy shows. Gaurav said, “They know what runs and also they had an equation with Neha so they should have known where to stop. But I would like to apologise to her and I love her. She is fantastic.”

On Thursday, Neha took to her Instagram stories and bashed Sony TV for airing something that insulted her and her work. In the show, a character named Neha Kankar is seen taking selfies all the time and talking in hashtags. Kiku and Gaurav’s characters make fun of her height and her music by saying that she sings ‘kuch bhi’. Gaurav’s character who’s a nurse even tells the girl ‘Is Bhondi Si Shakal Ke Sath Jab Tum Mic Par Gaana Gaane Jati Ho Toh Mic Tumse Muh Nahi Pher Leta?’

This hurt Neha who lashed out and expressed her disappointment with the kind of content being served to the audience in the name of comedy. She said she always appreciates good comedy and even happily takes jokes made on her. However, mocking someone for her physical appearance and being insensitive about someone’s job that provides her livelihood was a big deal for her.

Neha’s brother wrote a long note on social media while posting the clip of the comedy show and wrote how the channel tried to malign the image of a self-made small-town girl. A part of the caption on his post read, “Do you understand what a person goes through when you make fun about her/his body size or shape. Will you ever stop making fun of what god has made us ? Not just that you are talking rubbish about her talent too. Aren’t you damaging her career by saying all that wrong things about her talent ?” (sic)

Neha is one of the most sought-after female playback singers in the country. She is popular for her presence both on and off the screen. She has appeared in many popular music videos and sung viral Bollywood numbers. She is currently seen as one of the judges on Sony TV’s show Indian Idol 11.