Actor Siddharth Anand has apologised to Indian Badminton Player Saina Nehwal for his “inappropriate” tweet about the badminton star, saying he never intended his “joke” to insult her as a woman. On Monday, the actor faced considerable anger on Twitter for his response to the Olympic bronze medalist’s tweet about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged security failure during his visit to Punjab.

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The “Rang De Basanti” star sent an open letter on Twitter late Tuesday evening, saying that while he may disagree with Nehwal’s beliefs, the tone of his remark cannot be justified. He wrote, Greetings, Saina. I’d like to apologize for the unrefined joke I made in light of one of your tweets a couple of days prior. I might contradict you on many issues, however my failure or outrage when perusing your tweet doesn’t excuse my tone or language. I’m certain I’m able to do more elegance. The actor was accused of employing misogyny to harass the badminton player for her political ideas after the tweet went viral for its sexist overtones.

Today, the badminton star expressed her delight at the actor’s apology for the remark.

He made a remark about me first, then apologised. Sania said to the sources,  I’m not sure why it became so popular. I was taken aback when I noticed that I was trending on Twitter. I’m relieved that Siddharth has apologised. The sexist connotations of the tweet sparked outrage, with many accusing the actor of employing misogyny to harass the badminton player for her beliefs.

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After that, Siddharth stated that his tweet was simply a reference to cock and bull, and that reading it any other way is unfair, adding that nothing disrespectful was intended. The actor faced even more criticism on social media as his explanation failed to put the subject to rest. Both of the tweets have since been removed.