MUCH ADO ABOUT NEPOTISM
There has always been a a lot of conjecture when it comes to nepotism in the film industry. Read between the lines as Tiwari Khushboo puts together a take on things that matter, words said and unsaid, and all that revolves around them.
Say Bollywood…. And you think entertainment. Entertainment. Entertainment. This is what the dazzling arc lights of showbiz have been doing for decades in the past, present and shall continue till eternity. But when covered in the dazzling spotlights, besides the good, there are a few ugly warts that pop up too. So when we talk about Bollywood, how can we neglect the essence of nepotism that appears to be a constant bummer?
All that is not random
It is said that the right connections can take you very far in the world. And it would just be accurately fair if we state that this phenomenon is actively prevalent in the glam window-dressed world of Bollywood. No concealing, no denial, at least somebody is saying it out loud, right? Just like how implications of actual ‘feminism’ is still a distant dream in a country like ours, it is equally distant to think of cutting the starry umbilical ties of nepotism and Bollywood. And though it has been evident that the influencers and big daddies of Bollywood want to shrug the tag off their shoulders, but still how long can they deny that nepotism works big time in Tinsel Town. We still have a rainy season to wash away the done and dusted, and bring out a vivid picture. Hopefully. So let’s take the bull by its horns and ask: Have you witnessed a chunk of newcomers that do not represent a Kapoor, Khan or Bhatt make a debut in the recent past? No? Can’t remember? …Even if you consider it a rhetoric question, the answer to it literally undermines the silence.
Queen V/s Big Daddy
The alleged fiery slugfest between the Queen Kangana Ranaut and producerdirector and the man who has been raking the moolah after the resounding success of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, Karan Johar, has been no secret since the Koffee with Karan aired on television. Though it wasn’t a shock to a lot of people since Kangana has always made it a point to call a spade, a spade, however, the host himself was apparently fuming big time when comments claiming him to be a flag bearer of nepotism were made. Kangana in fact, told him off to his face,
“In my biopic, if ever it’s made, you’ll play that stereotypical Bollywood biggie, who’s very snooty and completely intolerant towards outsiders, flag-bearer of nepotism, the movie mafia.” Though KJO, after hearing that statement, flashed a rather artificial smile during the show, later he replied, “She was my guest, so I had to hear what she had to say. She has the right to have an opinion. And when she says ‘flag bearer of nepotism’ I just want to say, does she know what it means? I don’t think she’s understood the entirety of that statement. Because what is nepotism? What did she mean? What does she think we’re doing? Sitting and not giving her work? Is that what makes us mafia? No, we do that by choice... I do that because maybe I’m not interested in working with her. That doesn’t make me a movie mafia; it makes me a man with an opinion.” He also added, “One can’t use a victim card and say how one has been terrorized by the industry and if that stands as a case, they should leave it.” But the story doesn’t end here. Let’s have a flashback moment and recall a movie called Ungli (2015). It was a Dharma production movie with Kangana in the lead. Surprised? Supposedly at that point, rumours were rife that Kangana refused to be a part of the film promotions. We don’t know what exactly happened between KJO and her then that Kangana flashed the nepotism card on his show. Whatever it may be, there really has been much ado about it.
He Said, She Said
And so just because there has been a lot of sound and fury about the word ‘nepotism’, we decided to hear out our Bollywood divas and hunk. Let’s walk down the aisle of star opinions... In an interview, Mahesh Bhatt’s reaction to Kangana’s views allegedly was, “There is some truth to what she says. The film industry - not only in India but also Hollywood - is insular. It’s inward-looking. It doesn’t look beyond its own little window, so it seems like a fortress to an outsider, hence I don’t grudge her view.” Contradictorily, he also supposedly added, “That is the reality, but you can’t generalize this kind of critique. We may have the power to give you an opportunity, but we don’t have the power to decide which film will work and which won’t.” Neerja star and star kid Sonam Kapoor too jumped into the fray by tweeting, “Karan has launched other directors too. I know Karan very well. I find Kangana very entertaining and that’s about it. I don’t want to comment on something that looks opportunistic, honestly. She, however, added, “I don’t think dragging someone down or criticizing someone or having this public spat – I find it very distasteful. You can set examples without washing your dirty linen in public.” On the other hand, quintessential actress Tapsee Pannu supposedly claimed that the debate about nepotism will always be there. “We can never do away with it but
When she said ‘movie mafia’ what did she mean? Because what does she think we’re doing? Sitting and not giving her work?” — Karan Johar
we have reacheded a point where the ‘so-called’ outsiders are not helpless.”
Nepotism Here? Never! Anushka Sharma too allegedly added, “I can talk about my experience and I’ve never faced nepotism in any way. Maybe it happens, but I can never say this about Aditya. He has launched all the outsiders: Me, Ranveer Singh, Parineeti Chopra. Except for Arjun Kapoor, all Yash Raj talent are outsiders.” Global sensation Priyanka Chopra however, did incline to a different side. She supposedly said, “All kinds exist. There is nothing wrong in being born into a family that has a legacy. Outsiders don’t have a foot-inthe-door access. Star kids have the insurmountable pressure of living up to the family name. Every star has their individual journey. In mine, I have faced a lot. I have been kicked out of films because someone else was recommended to the producer. I cried and got over it.” Launched by Dharma Production’s Student of the Year, Varun Dhawan take on the existence of nepotism also was allegedly rather tame, “I don’t think so. I don’t want to talk much about it.” Well, that did speak a lot!
Final Note Amidst what’s right or wrong and what nepotism actually implicates, there are star kids like Alia Bhatt who professed, “I think a star kid can get that first film due to nepotism. But to constantly get films just because you belong to a filmi family is not possible. I am aware that people do struggle to make a mark in the industry, but it’s not right to blame nepotism.” She further allegedly added, “I don’t want to take any names, but there have been many examples of sons and daughters of lineage who have come and gone without achieving anything. What about that? Eventually, people come to see you as an actor and not because your family is famous, and you can’t fool them.” …True… all in all, some star kids do have success paved in their way thanks to their daddies. But on the other hand, there have been rank outsiders who have forayed into Bollywood and have made an indelible niche for themselves like Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Manoj Bajpayee and so many others. So nepotism or no nepotism, what works for an actor at the end of a bustling Friday, is how much the audience loves you. So for now, let’s put a nail on the topic of nepotism and move forward to a brighter and more dazzling celluloid future.
I have been kicked out of films because someone else was recommended to the producer. I cried and got over it.” — Priyanka Chopra
Mahesh Bhatt & Alia Bhatt
Shah Rukh Khan
Anushka Sharma arma