Apart from giving us hits and flops, Bollywood also made headlines for fights, problematic movies and more in 2019. Here is a list of controversies that plagued Bollywood in 2019:
1. Bala and Ujda Chaman
Soon after the trailer of Bala released, the team of Ujda Chaman filed a petition citing copyright infringement with the Supreme Court. In fact, both the movies were initially releasing on the same date and also had similar posters. While Bala’s main lead Ayushmann Khurrana said, “Anybody can come up with the same idea,” Ujda Chaman actor Sunny Singh said, “I am unaffected by it.” After enough mudslinging by both the sides, Ujda Chaman released a week ahead of Bala, and the latter became a bigger box office success.
2. Kangana Ranaut and Taapsee Pannu
It all began with a tweet from Taapsee Pannu praising Judgementall Hai Kya’s trailer, that left Rangoli Chandel blaming the Badla actor for not mentioning her sister Kangana Ranaut’s name. Rangoli even called her “sasti copy” of her sister. When Anurag Kashyap and Varun Dhawan interfered, Rangoli shut them up too. Soon people were reminded of an old interview of Taapsee where she had asked Kangana to get “a double filter” to avoid trouble, which had miffed Rangoli. After weeks, Taapsee finally broke her silence in an interview and said, “I didn’t know there was a copyright on curly hair, which I was born with, and honest opinions… Kangana claims to be the highest-paid actress, so I guess I am the ‘sasti’ version.” The war of words is not over. Rangoli had an opinion when Taapsee’s Saand Ki Aankh got embroiled in an ageism debate.
3. Kabir Singh
The film might be one of the highest grossers of 2019, but it attracted criticism for being “misogynist” and “regressive”. As a section of the audience panned it, the film’s director Sandeep Vanga Reddy, in an interview, justified the actions of his male lead, especially the idea of ‘hitting your lover’. Kabir Singh, a Hindi remake of Telugu blockbuster Arjun Reddy, also had its Tamil remake, Adithya Varma, releasing to good business in November.
4. Vivek Oberoi-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan meme row
In May, Vivek Oberoi tweeted a meme about Aishwarya Rai’s alleged affairs comparing it with the Assembly Elections. This left Twitterati furious with some calling the meme distasteful. Though Vivek deleted the tweet soon, National Commission For Women (NCW) took cognizance of it and issued a notice to the actor.
5. Udta Bollywood
#UDTABollywood – Fiction Vs Reality
Watch how the high and mighty of Bollywood proudly flaunt their drugged state!!
— Manjinder S Sirsa (@mssirsa) July 30, 2019
One of Karan Johar’s regular house parties, which saw stars like Deepika Padukone, Vicky Kaushal, Shahid Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Arjun Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Zoya Akhtar, Ranbir Kapoor and others, made headlines for all the wrong reasons. After the presence of a powder-like substance in a video of the party shared by Karan, netizens took no time to claim all the celebrities were in a “drugged state”. It also took a political turn when MLAs began clashing over the video calling it “Udta Bollywood”. Karan termed the allegations baseless and claimed that he would never post a video if the stars were in a drugged state.
6. Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra – Bharat
Priyanka Chopra signing Bharat made news. Her quitting the project due to her wedding became bigger news. Though Katrina Kaif replaced her, it did not go down well with Salman Khan who continued to call it Priyanka’s huge loss during the promotions of Bharat. Salman said Priyanka was offered a meaty role, but instead “she chose to play the role of a wife.” Though his statement did not go down well with several people, Priyanka refused to react to it.
7. Zaira Wasim
Zaira Wasim, who impressed fans with Dangal and Secret Superstar, left the nation shocked last year when the young actor announced that she is quitting Bollywood.
Wasim wrote that the acting profession “conflicted with her religious beliefs” and she no longer felt close to her religion. Her last film The Sky Is Pink released in October 2019.
8. Kangana Ranaut’s spat with a journalist
Nobody had thought that a press conference of Judgementall Hai Kya would turn ugly. Kangana got into an argument with a journalist who she said was running a smear campaign against her. Following a ban, Kangana sent a legal notice to the Entertainment Journalist Guild (EJG) and Press Council of India (PCI) for ‘wrongful, immoral, unethical and illegal acts of lending support to a journalist, who is accused of indulging in unprofessional and illegal activities’. The notice further read, “Neither EJG nor PCI are an adjudicating authority or a court, or even otherwise have any legal standing (as a recognised body), or the power, or discretion to ban my client Ms Kangana Ranaut, in any manner whatsoever.”
9. Hina Khan at Cannes
Hina Khan’s debut at Cannes might have been a huge leap for the actor and the television fraternity, but a comment by a leading magazine editor about her red carpet appearance left several small screen artistes miffed. Along with an image of Hina at Cannes, he wrote, “Cannes has suddenly become chandivali studios kya?” Angry comments poured in from several TV actors like Karanvir Bohra, Nakuul Mehta, Nia Sharma, Priyanka Sharma and Aneri Vajani, who came out in support of Hina. Even Hina shared her displeasure over the turn of events. The editor had to soon pull down his post from Instagram, while issuing an apology stating that his comments were “grossly misconstrued.”
10. Brown Face
This wasn’t any controversy around a fairness cream ad. It dealt with (otherwise fair-skinned) Hrithik Roshan’s brown face in Super 30 to make him “look” like real Anand Kumar. But it did not go down well with a lot of fans who wondered whether giving him a poorly constructed dark-tone was even required. Months later, when Bhumi Pednekar’s look from Bala was revealed, it only fuelled the brown face debate. Though the track of Bhumi’s Latika revolves around self-confidence despite one’s appearance, her skin tone that kept breaking continuity between brown to dark brown to charcoal black to even patches where her real colour peeped through, wanted us to call out the make-up artiste.
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