New Delhi: In response to the criticism over the detention of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan at the New York’s White Plain airport, the US on Friday apologised, saying that many Americans were fan of the superstar.
Addressing a press conference, US Embassy spokesperson Peter Vrooman said, "Many Americans are fan of Shah Rukh Khan. We apologise for the inconvenience experienced by him."
This came even as External Affairs Minister S M Krishna talked tough, saying "it has become a habit these days to first detain and then apologise. This can’t continue."
Preneet Kaur, Minister of State External Affairs also said that the apology was not enough and the matter would be taken up at the highest level.
This was the second occasion when Shah Rukh experienced trouble at a US airport.
"We were detained at the airport as always for an hour and a half, which was nice. Whenever I start feeling too arrogant about myself, I always take a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom," said Shah Rukh.
The actor joked about his detention while giving his speech at Yale University after receiving the Chubb fellowship.
He actor must have felt a sense of déjà vu when he was detained for almost two hours at a New York's White Plane Airport for questioning. SRK, who was on his way to Yale University, arrived in New York in a private airplane accompanied by Neeta Ambani.
The airport apparently needed the approval of 'senior authorities' to clear him and the entire process took 75 minutes. Shah Rukh was reportedly upset by the incident and described it as something that 'always happens'.
Freelance film journalist, Aseem Chhabra, who was present at Yale, confirmed the detention after he tweeted, "The report aboutis true. He was detained @ the airport for 2+ hrs. That's why the press conference was 3 hrs late!"
In a previous incident, SRK was detained and questioned for two hours at Newark Airport in 2009 because his name was supposedly part of a common checklist that had been prepared since the 9/11 attacks. At the time, the detention was termed as a publicity stunt for his film 'My Name Is Khan' which was just about to release and interestingly had a similar story line.
Incidentally, Shah Rukh Khan is not the only actor who has been detained at airports because of his name.
After SRK'S wait at the Newark Airport in 2009, it was actor Shahid Kapoor who was kept waiting that same year at the New York Airport for 90 minutes while his spot boy Mohammed Manjoor Allam was detained and questioned by immigration officers.
Irrfan Khan is another actor was detained not once, but twice on US shores. The actor claimed the airport officials did it because of his religion.
In 2002, Kamal Hassan was detained at the Toronto Airport in Canada for his 'Islamic' surname while he was en route to Los Angeles to shoot for his Tamil film 'Panchathathiram'.
While the US customs and border authorities have apologised once again for detaining the actor, the celeb Twitter world is up in arms against the entire incident.
Oscar winning sound designer Resul Pookutty tweeted, detained at NY emigration.It's evident that because he has a Muslim name, that too d day Yale university gave him a fellowship." And followed it up with, this is discrimination&they must stop this.SRK is so cool about it &he laughed it off.But it's nt dat simple,they need2 look inward."
Farah Khan Ali wrote, "I do wish the US immigration would stop detaining Shahrukh Khan as it seems to be getting into a habit now.
While Shah Rukh Khan joked about his detention, the increasing number of Indians detained at airports is sparking off angry reactions among Indians from around the world.