Babu­moshai di­rec­tor stands by Nawaz on is­sue of fair­ness bias

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Shreya Mukher­jee shreya.mukher­jee@htlive.com

Kushan Nandy (above), the di­rec­tor of up­com­ing film, Babu­moshai Ban­dook­baaz, has voiced his sup­port for ac­tor Nawazud­din Sid­diqui (right) — the sub­ject of a ‘racial’ com­ment made by the film’s cast­ing di­rec­tor San­jay Chouhan.

In a re­cent in­ter­view, Chouhan had said, “We can’t cast fair and hand­some peo­ple with Nawaz. It would look so weird.” Nawaz re­acted to the state­ment, by tweet­ing, “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)”

What does Kushan have to say about it? “San­jay made an id­i­otic, silly state­ment and I com­pletely stand by the way Nawaz had an­swered his stu­pid­ity. I took the fi­nal call on cast­ing. There was no bias to­wards skin colour or looks. We cast peo­ple on the ba­sis of per­for­mance and how one fits the char­ac­ter,” he says.

The film­maker says he un­der­stands why Nawaz felt bad, and be­lieves that the con­cept of good looks is sub­jec­tive. “Nawaz is an at­trac­tive man. His per­for­mance in front of the cam­era says ev­ery­thing.”

Has Kushan spo­ken to San­jay re­gard­ing his re­mark (which San­jay later de­nied)? “There is noth­ing to talk to him. The dam­age is al­ready done,” he says.

This isn’t the first con­tro­versy for the film. Ac­tor Chi­tran­gada Singh had opted out, say­ing she wasn’t com­fort­able shoot­ing in­ti­mate scenes, and re­cently, Divya Dutta re­port­edly walked out of the trailer launch, as she felt ig­nored. Kushan says, “Chi­tran­gada’s al­le­ga­tions were false. She had a prob­lem with her char­ac­ter and not in­ti­mate scenes be­cause she had al­ready shot for them. And Divya had to leave early for some other prior com­mit­ment and she had in­formed me about it ear­lier.”

PHOTO: PRODIP GUHA/HT

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