A review of quotes and statements by celebrities on the ongoing nepotism feud between Kangana Ranaut and Karan Johar. Does it happen? Does it not? Let’s find out…
Remember how Shahrukh Khan in Om Shanti Om gripes over the fact that if his surname was either a Kapoor or Khanna he would have been a star! Well, we all know the proverb khoon khoon ko pukarta hai… and many of us have experienced it also. We tend to be soft towards our kin, we want to favour the people close to us… nothing wrong with that. But what happens when talent is judged by your surname? Why should only Chopra, Kapoor or Khan have a big banner debut? Why can’t common people like us start our careers with Student of the Year? Why a Jhanvi Kapoor be a preferred choice over Disha Patani? Over the past few years, several established actors have talked about how being an outsider has shut many big banner doors on them. And the recent Kangana Ranaut-Karan Johar controversy has opened yet another pandora’s box for Bollywood.
The controversy began when the Rangoon actress made daring comments against Johar on his chat show by calling him “a snooty, flag-bearer of nepotism, who was intolerant to outsiders in the film industry”. Karan did respond later saying: “What is nepotism… am I working with my nieces, nephews, daughters, cousins? And what about those 15 filmmakers, who are not from the film industry, who I have launched and who did the movies? But he also asked Kangana, in bad taste, to leave the film industry if she has so many problems with ‘us’.”
And not just Kangana, Shahid Kapoor’s wife Mira Rajput, too, took the opportunity of calling out the industry on nepotism. Appearing with hubby on Karan’s same show in response to his question, ‘Two things you don’t understand about Bollywood’ Mira had said, “Airport looks” and “Nepotism”. Keeping the debate alive, here’s what Bollywood celebrities have said about the ongoing nepotism debate…
I have huge respect for Aditya Chopra who launched me. Ranveer Singh, Parineeti Chopra and all of us were not from the film industry! So being an outsider, I never faced nepotism.
Bollywood as an industry is based on relationships, it has always been star-driven and it has an element of feudalism. So, it would be difficult for an outsider but my experience of Bollywood is not nepotistic at all.
In general, I think it’s a normal human tendency to try and help people who you love and care for. It doesn’t have to be someone who is part of your family, it could be someone you care for. It’s a very natural emotion. I try to make sure that in my work, I don’t let it interfere. As a creative person, I am responsible to my audience and I give huge importance to that. I try not to bring in emotions in my work.
I have made it on my own without using the name of my family. It would have been more difficult for me to get work if I was an outsider and the film industry would not even know anything about me. There are so many people who want to work here but it’s a bit difficult for them as they don’t have any connections. I am born here so people know me, people know I exist.
The debate about nepotism will always be there. We can never do away with it but we have reached a point where the ‘so-called’ outsiders are not helpless. We do have people who recognise our talent. They have come up to me and they have worked with me again. Even David Dhawan for that matter, whose own son (Varun Dhawan) is in the industry. He has launched me and is working with me again. You don’t feel the step-motherly attitude anymore.
I love watching talented actors on screen, I don’t mind if they’re somebody’s son or daughter in the industry. I want to see talent on screen. The problem would be if they are not talented and they are still on screen, then that’s not fair! So, if someone is worthy and talented, then why not? I have no problem with that.
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 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.
Not that star kids are not talented, but the opportunities they get are far easier, projects far bigger and the budget for their films is huge. So it’s not a level plain field.
People forget to realise that sometimes those not born in the fraternity attract more work from overseas because of their talent. But back home, we are not welcomed or valued the way we should.
There are a lot of talented actors who may probably never get those opportunities that the star kids get with biggest of production houses. There have been films for which I was considered but I know some star daughter’s fathers called the producers and I was dropped.