For the third time in his life, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was detained at an airport in the United States. On August 12, Twitter woke up to the news that Khan was briefly detained at the Los Angeles airport the previous night. He was let go, and the US embassy issued an apology.
Khan took to Twitter to express his frustration, but also said that he had an 'understanding of security' and made light of the incident.
I fully understand & respect security with the way the world is, but to be detained at US immigration every damn time really really sucks.— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) August 12, 2016
The brighter side is while waiting caught some really nice Pokemons.— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) August 12, 2016
In response, US Department of State Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Biswal, tweeted an apology on behalf of the authorities.
Sorry for the hassle at the airport, @iamsrk - even American diplomats get pulled for extra screening!— Nisha Biswal (@NishaBiswal) August 12, 2016
Richard Varma, US ambassador to India, also expressed his regret.
In 2009, Khan was detained at the Newark Airport, and was allowed to leave only after two hours. The incident repeated itself in 2012, when he flew to New York in Nita Ambani's private jet for a graduation speech at the Yale University. Both the times, US diplomats apologised. The officials said that his name was similar to another name on the no-fly list.
On Twitter, the incident and his stardom status became a talking point. Many arguments broke out between fans and haters, while trolls had a field day, raking up past issues and controversies.
ShahRukh @iamsrk and Kalam are legends and national icons of India.Don't need preferential treatment, but stop this kind of unfair treatment— Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) August 12, 2016
#ShahRukhKhan 's US detention is lame. All the officer had to do was GOOGLE!— AB (@MissCandid01) August 12, 2016
Thousands of his fans expressed their support, blaming the US for 'not knowing who he is'.
Some people didn't get what the fuss was all about.
@iamsrk - Just doing their job. What's the fuss about? Besides, a bit of ego puncturing good for one's growth. U caught some Pokemons too...— Malini Menon (@journomenon) August 12, 2016
#ShahRukhKhan There is something called law and u need to respect that. If u feel it inconvenient, Why (TF) u keep on going to US Mr. Khan.— Dinesh Kulkarni (@kulkarnidinesh) August 12, 2016
On the other hand, a few haters trolled him for his acting and choice of films. Khan's last film, Fan, didn't fare well at the box office. His next film Raees is scheduled for a January 2017 release.
What SRK feels in US customs is what we feel watching his movies. Deja Vu. #ShahRukhKhan— PHOTOGK (@TheSolutionBaba) August 12, 2016
There was even talk about his birthday speech in November 2015 in which he reportedly said that India was an intolerant country. He later said that his quotes were misconstrued.
Someone even suggested that Khan tweet his concerns to External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. She has been in the news lately for being 'extremely helpful' to requests from citizens on Twitter, especially when she helped a man acquire a passport for his wife so they could be together on their honeymoon.