The dreaded N-word has been discussed time and again in the film industry, thanks to Kangana Ranaut's public allegation against Karan Johar on his talk show where she called him the 'flag-bearer of nepotism' in the Bollywood, and a 'movie-mafia'. What probably started in sport, went on to become the biggest debacle in the recent times. No celebrity was spared and everyone shared an opinion on the same—be it via interviews, open letters, or through poor attempts at comedy while hosting award shows. (does it ring any bells?)
The Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival's highlight affair titled 'Movie Mela' was a hit in the entire festival, and in its concluding session titled 'Big Talk', the nepotism issue was addressed once again, by none other than its 'accused' flag-bearer, Karan Johar.
Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor came together on the platform to talk about the paparazzi culture, being privileged owing to influential families and more. KJo asked the actors about their thoughts on nepotism in Bollywood, and how would they defend the claims against them, since they both have proved their mettle despite a comparatively easier access to films, as opposed to outsiders.
Here's what they said about nepotism prevalent in Bollywood:
"It's a sensitive conversation. They worked hard to make a place in the industry and give something to their children. And slowly it reached me. If I have a son or a daughter I will give them an opportunity that I worked hard for and now it's their talent that'll determine how good they'd do. My father also said that politicians and actors are chosen by the public. You may get your first film or campaign but the public has to like you to grow. I am a product of nepotism. I don't shy away from it. I know I have had better opportunities many don't get but I am just taking its advantage to better my craft. I've earned my position not by taking somebody else's position but by making my own."
"I am very grateful because honestly, this has been my dream. I am aware that the connection with my family has made it way easier but I also have to not feel apologetic about it. Yes nepotism exists in this industry and many other industries. Is it a good thing or a bad thing I don't know, but I know that I work very hard to be where I am today and I don't need to feel apologetic about being my father's daughter. I do believe it exists. But I don't want to feel apologetic about it. Everyone wants their posterity to utilise the resources that they make available to them. I don't want to feel sorry for being my father's daughter."
Both actors also talked about publicity and being in the limelight. They both seemed to cherish the fact that at least the media wanted to talk about them, which is critical in their profession. To be forgotten is the worst thing a celebrity can endure.
Well, we surely feel these phenomenal actors have carved their space in the people's hearts, and they're here to stay!