Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has been detained by US immigration authorities for the third time, prompting allegations of racial profiling.
Indian actor and TV personality Khan, 50, took to Twitter expressed his dismay.
“I fully understand & respect security with the way the world is, but to be detained at US immigration every damn time really really sucks,” Khan wrote on Twitter.
His comment had been retweeted more than 7,000 times and favorited more than 12,000 times by Friday morning, US time.
The U.S. Ambassador to India also tweeted an apology about the controversy, saying “We are working to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Your work inspires millions, including in the US.”
Khan has a huge fanbase in Asia and among the Indian diaspora.
Known as the “King of Bollywood,” he began his career in television before rising to prominence in Bollywood by playing everything from a hockey coach to an alcoholic in hit film Devdas (2002). He has been called one of the most successful film actors in the world.
As news of Khan’s third detention in the U.S broke in India, his fans took to social media under the hashtag #ShahRukhKhan to vent their frustrations.
In response, US Department of State official Nisha Biswal tweeted an apology to Khan.
Back in 2012, Khan was detained at New York’s White Plains Airport for two hours after arriving from India. In 2009, he was stopped by immigration officials at Newark Liberty International airport in New Jersey as his name appeared on a U.S no-fly list that is 80,000 strong. US customs officials said Khan’s questioning was part of a routine process.
In 2009, Khan’s detention caused consternation in India, with Aviation Minister Praful Patel telling reporters: “We will take the issue with the United States government strongly. Such incidents involving Indians due to their religion or nationality should not happen … we will not accept it.”
While fellow Bollywood actors and politicians called his detention in 2009 “humiliating,” Khan has responded with a mix of anger and humor on all occasions.
On Wednesday, he joked that he managed to catch some good Pokemons while waiting, and in a speech to Yale University in 2012, he told students that he always takes a trip to America when he starts feeling arrogant about himself.
“The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom,” Khan said.
Khan is just one of several Indian celebrities and officials who have been singled out at US airports in recent years.
In 2009, Bollywood actor Neil Nitin Mukesh was detained at New York airport, and in 2003, the then Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes was strip-searched in Dulles Airport in Washington Dulles International Airport.