The nepotism debate is still raging, thanks to the feud between producer-director Karan Johar and Kangna Ranaut. The actress, in the talk show ‘Koffee With Karan’, called Karan Johar ‘the flag bearer of nepotism.’ It didn’t go down well with him and he made his displeasure clear later on. Recently, at the IIFA Awards 2017, Karan Johar along with actors Varun Dhawan and Saif Ali Khan took a dig at Kangna Ranaut and even proclaimed, “Nepotism rocks.” It led to a lot of brouhaha with all three of them apologizing for it. Kangna meanwhile also strongly made her viewpoints clear over this matter.
Suniel Shetty, on the other hand, is an outsider who struggled his way to the top. His daughter, Athiya Shetty, however was launched in Hero in 2015, by Salman Khan. The veteran actor attended the trailer launch of the upcoming film The Rally, directed by Deepak Anand, who gave him the break in his debut film Balwaan and at this event, Suniel was asked about the nepotism debate and he made some interesting points. He said, “There are four new outsider kids in The Rally who have got an opportunity. I was not a part of the industry and yet, I got a break. Both I and Deepak Anand were from South Mumbai. I had not even gone to a film studio ever in my life. It’s my journey that I created and now my child is getting an opportunity, I wonder why anybody would want to object to it. It happens everywhere – in business, in politics. No major corporate house would want someone other than their family member to be the next chairman. So, why hang us all the time constantly? Also, it was not easy for Athiya to do her first film. It was a Rs. 40 crore film and they say it didn’t work. Once that perception is created that it didn’t work, she had to work to bag her second film. Nobody gave her the chance after that. So I feel that this (debate over nepotism) needs to end sometime or the other.”
Suniel Shetty then added, “A soldier from the Army wants even his child to have that respect because as a father, he’s comfortable in that space and that’s where he wants to see his child too. He doesn’t want to send his child in an environment which he doesn’t know about. Everyone wants their child to go in a good place and for me this industry is that good place.”
Athiya Shetty’s second film, Mubarakan, incidentally releases tomorrow, almost two years after Hero’s release. Mubarakan co-stars Arjun Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Ileana D’Cruz and is directed by Anees Bazmee.
Meanwhile, Suniel Shetty’s son Ahan Shetty is also all set to be launched by producer Sajid Nadiadwala.