Protest over Sushant Singh Rajput’s death impacts Karan Johar as filmmaker ‘resigns’ from MAMI board; Mumbai Police grills YRF casting director

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The tragic death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput appears to have affected Karan Johar the most with the Bollywood filmmaker facing a stupendous amounted of online trolling. While an online petition calling for the boycott of Karan, Salman Khan and Yash Raj Films garnered close to 40 lakh signatures, the head of Dharma Productions lost more than six lakh followers in the wake of Sushant’s suicide as fans blamed nepotism for pushing the 34-year-old into depression. Now reports say that Karan has decided to resign from the board of the prestigious Jio Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) in disgust. According to several media reports, Karan is upset that he did not receive support from his colleagues in Bollywood as he faced fans’ anger in the immediate aftermath of Sushant’s suicide. The news of Karan resigning from MAMI came amidst Yash Raj Films’ casting director being summoned for interrogation by the Mumbai Police.

MAMI board

One media report said that Karan had already sent his resignation to the Jio MAMI director Smriti Kiran although neither of them have publicly spoken out about the development. Deepika Padukone, who is the chairperson of Jio MAMI film festival, reportedly tried to persuade Karan to withdraw his resignation but to no avail.

The report coincided with another significant development on the probe being carried by the Mumbai Police in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. A report by the news agency PTI said that the Mumbai Police had questioned Shanoo Sharma, a well-known casting director with the YRF. “Shanoo Sharma, a casting director with the Yash Raj Films, is being questioned at Bandra police station,” Abhishek Trimukhe, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 9) was quoted as saying.

While announcing the probe, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had said that the cops will also look into the professional rivalry angle.

Representatives of some more production houses are likely to be called by the police for questioning in the next few days, another official said. Shanoo had worked with Sushant in YRF’s Shuddh Desi Romance and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy. She is also credited with discovering talents such as Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor and Vani Kapoor among others.

Sushant’s body was found hanging inside his house on 14 June. 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.

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