A video of Swara Bhasker confronting Karan Johar on the contentious topic of nepotism has gone viral on social media. The video has surfaced days after Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide triggered an intense debate on nepotism in Bollywood. Millions of fans had unfollowed entertainment stars such as Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt, Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor in protest.
In the viral video (see below), Swara is seen asking Karan, “You are more than a director and filmmaker. You really are someone who has over the years changed Bollywood pretty much forever….It may not be factual but just in terms of perception, you are someone who is seen to be the person who launches star children…I just wanted to know if this is something that happens consciously or is that something that just happens when you know people from bachpan. Because to the outsider like me, it makes look Bollywood almost feudal.”
To which Karan replied, “You know, with me, I’ve launched two kids from the movies, Varun (Dhawan) and Alia (Bhatt), and, actually it was, none of those are results of nepotism for me. I understand what you are saying. To the naked eye and eye from the outside, it looks like these guys click, they are the group, they know each other’s aunts, sons, nephews, and it’s easy for them to work with each other.’ But in my case, it wasn’t the case. When I was making Student Of The Year, I had two assistant boys. One happened to be David Dhawan’s son, because his Mom called me because he wanted to be an assistant not an actor. And Sidharth Malhotra walked into the office to meet Karan Malhotra. The only reason Karan took him as an AD because of the same last name.”
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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 ….💔💔💔
Karan had, however, agreed it was, sometimes, easy to cast someone, who’s ‘in front of you’ than ‘looking beyond.’ He had said, “But I do agree with you Swara, sometimes what is in front of you is easier than looking beyond it. But I think things are now changing and there’s a lot of talent from outside the industry and they are being credited finely.”
As for his proximity to Alia Bhatt, Karan had said that he did not enjoy a good relationship with her Dad Mahesh Bhatt for a long time because he felt that the latter had wronged his family. He said, “With Alia, I had no connection with Mahesh Bhatt. In fact, for the longest time, I had an issue with Mahesh Bhatt and I didn’t even know he had a daughter, till I was told by my writer Niranjan Iyenger that you should meet Pooja.”
The issue of nepotism in Bollywood has begun dominating social media conversations in the wake of Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide. Many of Sushant’s fans felt that the 34-year-old actor felt ostracisation from people like Karan Johar, Yash Raj Films and Salman Khan.
Karan had taken to Instagram to sensationally admit that he blamed himself for not being in touch with Sushant for the last one year. Angry fans had launched an extraordinary online campaign to boycott Karan, Salman and the YRF.
Sushant’s body was found hanging inside his house on Sunday morning. The 34-year-old actor from Bihar had made his Bollywood debut with Kai Po Che before acting in successful films such as MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, PK, Raabta and Kedarnath among others.