Remember the last time we had the freedom to opine on issues that mattered to us? And the world heard us out, not only to peacefully disagree but also encourage a healthy discussion instead of playing the blame game? Yeah, me neither.
In an industry as cutthroat and easily triggered and offended as Bollywood, 2017 has been the year of controversies, and the one that definitely topped the list was Kangana Ranaut’s no holds barred opinions on everything from nepotism to allegations of harassment. Her war of words with the biggies of the entertainment industry including Karan Johar, Saif Ali Khan, and Hrithik Roshan put her under the limelight for being a woman with a strong voice that refused to back down even amongst alleged threats she received for being outspoken on sensitive issues.
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Kangana stated that her run-ins with Bollywood stars and influencers have set her back, professionally, and her finances have taken a hit.
“The offers haven’t slowed but my commercial viability has been affected”, she said. “The endorsements are fewer, my earnings are down and my plan to open my own production house has had to be pushed”.
If you ever thought that being a famous celebrity, a huge name in the film industry, or an audience-favourite actress in Bollywood gave you the perks of being able to get away without ruffling a few feathers, Kangana’s story is one to prove you wrong.
The headstrong actress has been under fire from various publications, individuals, fellow Bollywood peers, and even trolls on the internet, for her attitude towards her work as well as the statements she’s made on several occasions against the big names in Bollywood, that most other actors or actresses would shy away from. Just goes to show that you can receive flak for your opinions, no matter how successful or wealthy your status.
The repercussions of having an opinionated voice in prevalent issues are severe in our society, particularly for a woman, and for someone like Kangana, who has made a mark in Indian cinema on her own merit and not with personal contacts or connections in Bollywood, the struggle is very real.
While not everything's coming up roses for the actress, Kangana is all about focusing on the positives and promises to bounce back stronger in the industry.
“I have signed three films, have a beautiful house in Manali now and an office on Pali Hill and I’m going to Harvard so don’t write me off just yet,” she said. “I don’t want my life to become a cautionary tale but an inspiration for young girls and for that I will survive and succeed.”
The actress has been invited to be a keynote speaker at The Harvard Business School for the annual India Conference in February 2018. Following in the footsteps of banker Chanda Kochhar, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, she will be delivering two speeches on ‘The Changing Entertainment Landscape in India’ and ‘Disrupting the Indian Mainstream Cinema’.