Controversies have remained a constant part of the Indian film industry since it's very beginning. Be it the nasty B-town affairs or the current favourite nepotism debate, Bollywood celebs always end up in the eye of the storm no matter how much they try to dodge it. Then come the controversies, which could have been avoided had these celebs known when to speak and also, what to speak. However, B-town celebs' long and never-ending history of tone-deaf comments clearly points at a huge ideological gap that often backfires and mostly, for all the right reasons.
You really need to read some of these comments to find out just how tone-deaf they can get sometimes. And for exactly that purpose, here are 12 of the most problematic comments made by B-town celebs:
A lot of star kids were subjected to online trolling and hatred in the past few months owing to the whole nepotism debate that reignited post Sushant Singh Rajput’s tragic demise. Well, some were scrutinised more than the others, Sonam Kapoor being one of them. A video of Sonam Kapoor was dug out from the show Koffee With Karan in which she was seen implying that she does not even know who Sushant Singh Rajput happens to be. Consequently, the actress had to face a lot of internet ire.
However, the actress decided to address all the hatred coming her way and in an absolutely tone-deaf move, ended up writing “Yes I’m my father’s daughter, and yes I am here because of him and yes I am privileged. That is not an insult. My father has worked very hard to give me all of this. And it is my Karma where I am born and to whom I’m born. I’m proud.”
Needless to say, Sonam’s elitist and tone-deaf tweet was as counterproductive as it could get.
An ivy league graduate, surprisingly Sara Ali Khan has had a very problematic history with racism. Last year, while speaking at 'We the Women' event in Bangalore, titled A Spark called Sara, when a woman from the audience asked Sara if she liked going to beaches and being tanned, Sara promptly responded, "If you wanna be tan, just put some on some bronzer, and if you wanna be fair, put on some powder."
Blatantly tone-deaf, the comment was heavily criticised by many.
Amid a deluge of problematic comments made on Salman Khan’s hit and run case, Alia Bhatt gave us a tone-deaf gem tweeting, “It hurts when your own are punished, even if they are in the wrong. We love you and are standing by you.”
In her defense, this didn't even come close to the most problematic comment made in the case which came from singer Abhijeet. “Kutta rd pe soyega kutte ki maut marega, roads garib ke baap ki nahi hai I was holmes (homeless) a year nvr slept on rd,” he wrote and well, we’d rather not comment on that.
Okay, to begin with, we are talking about an actor whose film Pink taught us that "no means no." Now, coming to the point, after being questioned about a problematic scene in Judwaa 2 where a guy kisses a girl and forcibly spanks her and then the girl still chooses him, this is what Taapsee Pannu had to say, “It’s his apology, his truthful apology that makes the girl feel maybe he deserves another chance.”
Well, if that's not defending harassment then we don't know what is. Tone-deaf and how!
Speaking on #MeToo at Rajeev Masand’s year-end roundtable with Bollywood actresses, back in 2018, Rani Mukerji went on a tone-deaf spree where she spilled one problematic comment after the other without reflecting upon what she was saying. Speaking on the issue, Rani used her own example, how she had been strong through situations of possible harassment, and said, “It’s important for women to believe in themselves and say that if they don’t want this to happen, then it’ll not happen.” When somebody from the panel remarked that this wasn't necessarily the case with all the women in India and not all of them get the safe space to do so, Rani quickly restored, “Have the courage to protect yourself. Be strong enough to end it there and then.”
Obviously uncomfortable with Rani's ideas, Deepika Padukone interjected, “Unfortunately, everybody is not constructed with that DNA. People who haven’t faced this, they’ve either been lucky or had the strength.” However, that didn't stop her from saying “we need to talk to and say ‘yaar, you guys need to change." Following this when Anushka Sharma pointed out that Mukerji’s ventured dangerously in the territory of victim-blaming, here's what Rani had to say “At some point, we have to take responsibility for ourselves.”
God knows why but Bollywood has had a long-standing problem with feminism. So strong is the aversion that whenever a fleeting mention of the F-word is made, Bollywood celebs try to inundate you with a barrage of words, which are more often than not tone-deaf. Take for instance, what Kareena Kapoor had to say on being asked if she was a feminist: "I believe in equality. I wouldn’t say I am a feminist, I would say I am a woman and above all, I am a human being. I am also as proud to be known as Saif Ali Khan’s wife, as I am to be Kareena Kapoor. So that is just the way I am."
Okay, so who'll tell Kareena that equality and being a feminist are basically the same things?
We really, really meant it when we talked about Bollywood's aversion with feminism. They'd legit say anything but not the F-word, even tone-deaf gibberish like Katrina Kaif here: "People say I am not open, but is being open only talking about your relationships? I don’t think I am feminist but I don’t think an actress should be made to speak about the men in her life when there is so much more to her and what she has achieved. We need to respect that." Slow clap!
You’d think the third time’s a charm but not in this case. Please read what Shahrukh Khan had to say as his "appreciation" for Dear Zindagi: “I don’t want to sound pro-feminist and say that these girls have made a beautiful film, but they really have. I’ve always said that I enjoy making films with women.” No big deal, just another day of anti-feminism in B-Town!
You expect great wisdom and insight when you talk about one of the greatest actors of the country who also happens to be the son of iconic poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, right? Well, sadly that doesn't seem like the case with Amitabh Bachchan who very casually brushed off a very important #MeToo conversation. On being asked for his opinion on the allegations made by Tanushree Dutta on Nana Patekar during India's #MeToo movement, here's what he had to say "Na toh mera naam Tanushree hai, nahi Nana Patekar, Kaise uttar du aapke sawal ka (My name is neither Tanushree nor Nana Patekar, how do I reply to your question?)."
But then again, what do you expect from the person who thought having a conversation of a highly controversial rape case was just unpalatable. For the uninitiated, here's his comment on the Kathua rape case: "Even discussing this issue feels disgusting, don't bring up this issue. It is terrible to even talk about it."
If we had a made a list of tone-deaf celebs, then Salman Khan's name would easily feature in the top three. However, the remark that he had to make while talking about all the efforts that he had to put for Sultan remains the undisputed king of problematic comments made by him. This is what he had to say, “While shooting, during those six hours, there’d be so much of lifting and thrusting on the ground involved. That was tough for me because if I was lifting, I’d have to lift the same 120-kilo guy 10 times for 10 different angles. And likewise, get thrown that many times on the ground. This act is not repeated that many times in the real fights in the ring. When I used to walk out of the ring, after the shoot, I used to feel like a raped woman. I couldn’t walk straight. I would eat and then, head right back to training. That couldn’t stop.”
There's this famous saying that goes somewhat like: 'A person who's nice to you but not to the waiter, is not a nice person!' Quite apt, na? Guess, Aamir Khan has never heard this one before. No other way to explain the following comment made by him “I always feel when Salman enters a room, you feel a star has come. When I enter, I feel a waiter has come.”
Of course, we weren't going to talk about tone-deaf comments and leave Karan Johar out of that list. Out of a plethora of tone-deaf remarks made by him, perhaps the most hauntingly problematic was the one that he made about Ae Dil Hai Mushkil's ending and why Alizeh (Anushka Sharma) dies in it.
“The last track met with many polarised responses and rightfully so, but I was like she (Sharma’s character Alizeh who doesn’t reciprocate Kapoor’s character Ayan’s feelings) didn’t love him, she has to die. I wrote this character. He loved her so crazily. She could’ve loved him back, why couldn’t she? So she got cancer and she died," he said.
So, women who don't reciprocate love for someone that they aren't romantically interested in should die?
GTG fam, might drop dead anytime soon!
Featured Image: YouTube