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Saturday, 17 October 2020

Bollywood's Favourite Child Nepotism

  Deep       Saturday, 17 October 2020

 Bollywood's Favourite Child Nepotism

nepotism

I just went to Google trends to see if the word 'nepotism' was trending in India or not. I was right. It started trending from the second week of February, this year - one week before Kangana Ranaut's now-famous Koffee With Karan episode, which made the word 'nepotism' a serious contender for 'Word of the Year'' in India in 2017. And the said word continues to trend as we speak. Hmm... Maybe it's not that late to ponder.

Koffee is hot, handle with care

For Karan, it had been a chance to point out the planet that he can take criticism; and also to point out his magnanimity. Of course, it was also about TRPs - they started spreading PR articles a week in advance highlighting Kangana's quotable quotes. Kangana's 'Movie Mafia' dig directed at Karan Johar went viral even before they aired the episode. Karan's jaw dropped in the promos. And we couldn't wait to see the episode. But what happened after the episode went on air was something neither Karan nor Kangana anticipated.

Oh, we have a new outrage!

In the age of Social Media, a mean Joe has a lot of opportunities to select and choose his outrages then use Social Media to point out his commitment to the cause. Unlike what Karan expected, people didn't laugh it off just like that. In no time, Karan became the villainous/scary 'Movie Mafia'. People started writing lengthy articles. And his Twitter feed was crammed with trolls - well, his Twitter feed is that the place for worship for internet trolls. But this point, it had been sort of a troll carnival of sorts.

It was followed by a damaging interview where Karan said that Kangana should stop using the 'victim card'. As expected, it had been followed by a lot of articles slamming Karan Johar everywhere again. Karan later wrote a blog post regarding an equivalent. And 'nepotism' continues to fascinate people.

Kangana is right

Indeed, Kangana raised an important issue. Bollywood wont to be a closed corporation, wherein few family-owned studios controlled the industry. It was extremely difficult for outsiders to break in. However, there have been attempts to democratize Bollywood. Today, we've many studios that aren't controlled by film families. And multiplexes have made it easy for little studios to survive. Things have become a lot better compared to before. But nepotism is still rampant considering the number of star kids turns 20 today! We have a long way to go!

Let's hear what Karan has to stay

In his defense, Karan has said that he launched many directors, who had nothing to do with the industry. That's true. Among actors, he frequently collaborates with people that are the merchandise of nepotism. And he repeats Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan, his own findings from the film families. But according to him, he also launched Sidharth Malhotra, who is an outsider. And in his latest blog, Karan passed on the blame to the media also. He indeed made some extent thereby saying that media is equally hooked into star kids even before they're launched. But, does that make him less guilty? Nope.

However, putting all the blame on Karan is unfair. After all, he is looking for the most viable names for his project as a businessman. It's not our birthright to expect Karan Johar to be an ethical businessman because he's not running an office at the top of the day. It's his company, and it's his choice.

Is it unfair to the star kids?

The truth of the matter is that it' unfair to blame the star kids. Their family members have been in the business. They know all about the business. And it's unfair to tell them that they shouldn't be joining the films just because they are part of the industry. If they're talented and hooked into the films, then they ought to tend an opportunity (not 20 chances during a row even after failures!). Can you imagine an industry without a Kareena Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt anymore?

But let's still shame the studios that follow this practice

The best outcome of this whole discussion is that Bollywood studios are being forced to seem at this issue. They no longer can overlook this issue; people are watching. I think that is the best thanks to affecting it.

We need more people like Kangana Ranaut who are not scared to go after the biggies in the business. Sadly, people in the industry are highly insecure. They don't want to be in anybody's bad books. So they all keep their mouth shut, which leads to such unfair practices.

So yes, let's continue to trend the magic word 'nepotism'. Let's single out those studios. It's definitely going to result in a level playing field.

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Thanks for reading Bollywood's Favourite Child Nepotism

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