ALL’S NOT FAIR IN THE FILM IN­DUS­TRY

In­dus­try in­sid­ers re­act to Nawazud­din Sid­diqui’s tweet in which he calls out Bol­ly­wood’s ob­ses­sion with fair-skinned ac­tors

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Shreya Mukher­jee (In­put by An­jali Thakur)

Ac­tor Nawazud­din Sid­diqui may have estab­lished him­self as one of the finest ac­tors in Bol­ly­wood, but his re­cent tweet hints at the in­dus­try’s never-end­ing ob­ses­sion with fair skin and good looks. In his tweet, Nawaz wrote, “Thank U 4 mak­ing me re­alise dat I can­not b paired along wid d fair & hand­some bcz I m dark & not good look­ing, but I never fo­cus on that (sic).” Nawaz was re­act­ing to a com­ment by the cast­ing di­rec­tor of his up­com­ing film, San­jay Chouhan.

In an in­ter­view, Chouhan said, “…Keep­ing Nawaz in mind, all other char­ac­ters were taken on board. We can’t cast fair and hand­some peo­ple with Nawaz. It would look so weird...” The Twit­terati came out in sup­port of the ac­tor. While one user, @aali­aaaliya wrote, “You are one of the finest ac­tors around. Looks has noth­ing to do with act­ing skills... you are An ac­tor! a per­former of a dif­fer­ent league.”, an­other user @ SaifMan­ager replied, “Dnt worry nawaz bhai, ajay de­v­gan ne Aish­warya rai ke sath kaam kiya hai, aap to fir bhi usse hand­some ho..” In fact, his in­dus­try col­leagues, film­mak­ers Hansal Me­hta, Ritesh Ba­tra and ac­tor Tannishtha Chat­ter­jee, also tweeted voic­ing their sup­port for him.

Re­act­ing to it, Me­hta says, “I think peo­ple should stop do­ing such things to bring ac­tors like Nawaz’s cal­i­bre down. They should be nur­tured rather than mocked. I per­son­ally feel that Nawaz is quite a gor­geous man and I am go­ing to tell him that.”

Film­maker Shyam Bene­gal feels that such kind of dis­crim­i­na­tion, racism and stereo­types have been there for the past 100 years. “I found it ridicu­lous and broke the trend by cast­ing Smita (Patil). I was told how I could cast a dark lit­tle girl as the hero­ine of my film. I think it’s part of the In­dian psy­che, which is hard to change,” he adds.

Ac­tor Tannishtha Chat­ter­jee, who worked with Nawazud­din in Lion (2016) voiced a sim­i­lar opin­ion: “When I walked out of the TV show (Com­edy Nights Bachao for be­ing roasted on her skin colour), many said why I couldn’t take jokes on me, without un­der­stand­ing that I was sim­ply try­ing to high­light a deep-rooted prob­lem.”

Mean­while, Nawaz who was in Delhi on Tues­day to pro­mote his up­com­ing film, re­it­er­ated his stand on the skin-colour de­bate and told HT City, “A lot of peo­ple in this in­dus­try are racist. Be­cause of this, I have been re­jected a lot of times.” In an ear­lier in­ter­view the ac­tor had told us, “Looks still seems to be the de­cid­ing fac­tor. Re­cently, one of my di­rec­tors ap­proached a fa­mous hero­ine, she re­jected the of­fer hint­ing at how we don’t match look­wise and added ‘he is a good ac­tor though...’”

I walked out of Com­edy Nights Bachao only to high­light this deep-rooted (skin colour) prob­lem TANNISHTHA CHAT­TER­JEE, AC­TOR

PHOTO: AMAL KS/ HT

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