The tragic death of Sushant Singh Rajput has turned the Indian entertainment industry upside down. In 12 days, Bollywood has gone from raving to revolting with the debate on nepotism resurfacing in the industry. And it won’t be wrong to say that filmmaker and producer Karan Johar has been targetted the most for promoting nepotism in B-Town. While he often takes pride in how the term nepotism was “born” on his show Koffee With Karan (courtesy Kangana Ranaut), it seems only now is its true meaning sinking in for the filmmaker.
It all started when the Dharma head shared a post condoling SSR’s passing away where he took the blame for “not being in touch” with Sushant knowing that he needed people to share his life with. This was seen as a hypocritical move as netizens held him responsible for boycotting the late actor and promoting celebrity kids.
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I blame myself for not being in touch with you for the past year….. I have felt at times like you may have needed people to share your life with…but somehow I never followed up on that feeling…will never make that mistake again…we live in very energetic and noisy but still very isolated times …some of us succumb to these silences and go within…we need to not just make relationships but also constantly nurture them….Sushants unfortunate demise has been a huge wake up call to me …to my level of compassion and to my ability to foster and protect my equations…..I hope this resonates with all of you as well….will miss your infectious smile and your bear hug ….💔💔💔
Soon, people started leaving hate comments on the social profiles of “nepotism products” and unfollowing them as a revolt. #BoycottKJoGang became a movement. Alia Bhatt lost 500k followers while KJo lost nearly a lakh in no time. As a result of this harassment and negativity, some of them even quit social media while others restricted activity on their Instagram account. KJo unfollowed almost everyone on Twitter except eight accounts including Amitabh Bachchan, SRK, Akshay Kumar, PM Narendra Modi and four Dharma profiles. Sonam Kapoor, however, decided to speak up against these attacks of nepotism but ended up receiving further backlash for calling her privilege her “karma”.
Amid the chaos, it has been confirmed that Karan Johar has officially stepped down from the MAMI (Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image) Board after sending in his resignation to the director of the annual film festival, Smriti Kiran. The reports also suggest that the decision was taken after the actor felt upset over not receiving any support from friends in the industry amid the ongoing nepotism debate. Looks like Bollywood is following a ‘to each his own’ policy these days.
Reports further suggest that MAMI chair Deepika Padukone tried to convince Karan to stay and rethink his decision. However, Karan’s decision had ‘no backsies’ written all over it as his mind was made about this.
MAMI is a non-profit trust that organises Mumbai Film Festival, the annual International film fest helmed in the city. Founded in 1997, the fest previews new films of all genres from all around the world, hosts discussions with celebrities, and celebrates the art of the “moving image” that is cinema. Deepika Padukone took over as the chairperson in January 2019 after Kirran Rao (producer, director, screenwriter, and Aamir Khan’s wife) stepped down after five years. According to HuffPost India, Karan Johar and Priyanka Chopra were also in the run for the position but eventually, the consensus was in favour of DP.
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