After the big Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook outage that happened the day before yesterday, I was really glad to be back on the grid when I came across a video titled 'Bollywood's Ugliest Fight' online. I was just scrolling through my feed, minding my own business, when the video popped up and, owing to the clickbait-y title, I couldn't not watch it. So, I did. And I did not see that coming. I mean, 'Ugliest' would be an understatement to it.
The video is a flashback to Screen Awards of 2008 when Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai's Jodhaa Akbar had come out. The same year Farhan Akhtar's Rock On, too, had released. Both very popular and brilliant movies competing against each other for awards.
When Ashutosh Gowariker, director of Jodhaa Akbar, went on stage to receive the award in the Best Film category, he had a long (painfully long) speech to give targeting the show's hosts Sajid Khan and his sister Farah Khan. The filmmaker called them out for making fun of artists and even told Sajid Khan to "Shut up!" when the latter interrupted him. All I can think is - how did I miss this?!
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Eventually, Farah Khan came to address the issue trying the lighten the mood, but the damage had been done. Everyone in the audience, including Hrithik Roshan and ex-wife Sussanne Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Priyanka Chopra, Akshay Kumar and wife Twinkle Khanna, can be seen feeling uncomfortable. I mean, it went on for six minutes, for God's sake!
Sajid Khan and controversy go way back and this video is just another proof of it. A few months ago, the Housefull director was accused of sexual assault and harassment by a number of actresses in Bollywood in light of the #MeToo movement. After the allegations came out in the open, he issued a statement to the Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA's) legal notice saying, "These allegations have not only caused irreparable harm to my career but more importantly, grieved my mother and sister immensely. At the outset, I deny the complaints levelled against me as stated in your notice. I humbly request you to not to form any one-sided judgement. I am always happy to extend any cooperation to my association."
Having watched the video now (well, how could you not), what do you think?
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