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Nepotism in Bollywood: ‘Right or wrong is not the question here, but taking a stand is’

The nepotism debate in Bollywood has been reignited after the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Kangana Ranaut has been quite vocal about the same.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 22, 2020 3:34:35 pm
nepotism in bollywood The nepotism debate has revived in Bollywood after Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise. (Photo: Taapsee Pannu, Kangana Ranaut, Anurag Kashyap/Instagram)

The nepotism debate has been reignited after the demise of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. While there is no official statement by authorities on the reason behind his suicide, Twitterati and many celebrities have concluded that his death was in some way connected to nepotism in Bollywood.

Recently, Kangana Ranaut appeared on a channel where she spoke about the prevalent culture of nepotism in Bollywood and how that resulted in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. The conversation around nepotism was first ignited by Ranaut on Karan Johar’s chat show Koffee with Karan in 2017, where she called the filmmaker the ‘flag-bearer of nepotism’.

In Kangana Ranaut’s recent TV interview, she called Taapsee Pannu and Swara Bhasker “B Grade actresses” and “needy outsiders.” To this, Pannu said in a tweet, “Before that there is someone trying to use divide n rule policy in the film industry. Yes, there are differences between people born with pedigree and the ‘outsiders’ but we aren’t battling each other we are battling for a better system to co-exist not by mudslinging and name-calling. (sic)”

Simi Grewal applauded Kangana’s frank attitude in the interview and tweeted, “I applaud Kangana Ranaut who is braver & bolder than I am. Only I know how a ‘powerful’ person has viciously tried to destroy my career. I stayed silent. Because I am not so brave.” She added, “I don’t know what all of you felt after watching #KanganaSpeaksToArnab but it has left me quite depressed. I’m distraught at what Sushant Singh Rajput endured and also what many ‘outsiders’ go through in Bollywood. (sic)”

Live Blog

Celebrities discuss nepotism, Sushant Sushant Singh Rajput and more on social media.

15:34 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Vir Das tells what it is to be on Twitter in India
14:53 (IST)22 Jul 2020
'Important for women to stick together'

Filmmaker Nikkhil Advani tweeted, "In an industry which is misogynistic, gender biased and sometimes quite murky the important thing for Women who have made it (insiders/outsiders) to do is to STICK TOGETHER. Need to stop all this tamasha and fight for the important things. #EqualCredit #EqualPay #justsaying"

14:33 (IST)22 Jul 2020
'It's easier to be part of herd than stand against all'

Actor Esha Gupta tweeted, "If history has taught us anything, it’s the fact that, whenever a woman rises against authority, she’s called either crazy or bossy or difficult. It’s easier to be a part of herd than stand against all."

14:02 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Shekhar Kapur: If Paani is made, I will dedicate it to Sushant Singh Rajput

Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said if ever his film Paani is made, he will dedicate it to late actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

"If you want to journey with the Gods, or your creativity, you have to walk each step in devotion. In humility. God willing #Paani will get made one day. If it does, I will dedicate it to Sushant. But it has to be made with partners that walk in humility, not in arrogance," Kapur tweeted.

The film was supposed to star Sushant Singh Rajput. However, it was shelved.

13:27 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Nakuul Mehta: The talent of making everything about oneself can be a category at every Bollywood award

Television actor Nakuul Mehta posted on Twitter, "'The talent of making everything about oneself' can be a legit category at every Bollywood award."

He further wrote, "Is making someone's passing away your hashtag considered normal in 2020? Can one legitimately enjoy someone's artistic work whilst being in disagreement with their larger moral ground? How do we categorise artists as A / B / C grade? Basis their monetary worth or largesse of imagination/depth of work/ sincerity to craft?"

12:58 (IST)22 Jul 2020
'With all the finger pointing, the real issues of mental health have been forgotten'

Salil Acharya took to Twitter and wrote, "With all the anger online and the finger pointing, the real issues of #mentalhealth have just been forgotten. #bollywood was always everyones dream who wanted to be an actor , srk , salman , akshay i guess we all wanted to be them but the burnout rate is high #SushanthSinghRajput"

12:37 (IST)22 Jul 2020
'Kangana truly has been voice of the conscious for Bollywood'
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#VRATV Brutally Honest.

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Actor Payal Ghosh supported Kangana Ranaut in her recent tweet. She mentioned, "Finally, the nepotism and the heavenly #SushantSinghRajput matter. @KanganaTeam came out and spoke for all of us outsiders. She truly has been voice of the conscious for bollywood."

12:00 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Sona Mohapatra: Nepotism flourishes because audiences allow it to

Sona Mohapatra took to Twitter and wrote, "Insider ho ya outsider.When it comes to this ‘category’,mostly it’s ‘I Me Myself’. Narcissistic,self-absorbed & zero concern for the 100 others who actually make a good film happen which gives only this ‘category’ disproportionate returns.The rest can keep slogging. Who cares. A system that does not reward actual creators of content like writers but keeps making ‘stars’ out of one lot-‘heros-heroines’is likely to reap nothing glorious in the long run.Just more mediocrity.Nepotism flourishes cus audiences allow it to.The toxic ‘Star System’ is the same."

11:42 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Swara Bhasker's take on the matter

"We have all been pushed to say things we’d rather not.." tweeted actor Swara Bhasker on the nepotism debate. 

11:26 (IST)22 Jul 2020
'3 Idiots was based on my novel'

Writer Chetan Bhagat shared his thoughts on the nepotism debate and reflected that he was given no credit for the story of 3 Idiots which went on to win critical and commercial acclaim. 

10:39 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Anubhav Sinha on the term Bollywood

Stating that he has had enough of the debates surrounding the industry, the director said all he wants is to make good movies. The filmmaker wrote in a tweet, "I didn't know why I came. I just wanted to make movies. I have just started figuring out why though."

10:08 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Sudhir Mishra on independent filmmaking and what Bollywood means

"Bollywood is a synonym for a life style. Necessarily independent cinema is not a promotional vehicle for a life style," tweeted Sudhir Mishra. 

09:59 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Vir Das on nepotism

"It's just plain ironic to see news channels and media houses do long bulletins about equality and fairness in the entertainment industry. No one has done as much damage as you, no one panders to stars more than you, and no one is milking a tragic death for ratings more than you," tweeted Vir Das. 

09:33 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Jacqueline Fernandez wants to 'protect her peace'

"I used to wanna protect my name in situations, now I just wanna protect my peace. I let whoever think WHATEVER,” Jacqueline wrote in a cryptic note on her Instagram stories. The actor was last seen in the Netflix film Mrs Serial Killer. 

09:12 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Manoj Tiwary weighs in on the nepotism debate

"D people who al r attacking #KanganaRanaut 4 her statements r exposing themselves of who they r from inside but remember when karma hits back, then it hits back at u wit no menu, u get served what u deserve 👍 So brace yourselves, it's coming at u all," tweeted cricketer Manoj Tiwary. 

08:42 (IST)22 Jul 2020
'Kangana Ranaut is courageous'

"Tigers are born, can't be grafted. Tigers are a breed, can't be converted by promises. Right or wrong is not the question here. But taking a stand is. #KangnaRanaut is courageous. She roars even without a support, against most powerful, who, perhaps are able to destroy her," tweeted writer Ravi Rai. 

08:31 (IST)22 Jul 2020
Anurag Kashyap shares an old video where he is seen addressing nepotism

Accused by various social media users of changing his stand on the nepotism debate, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on Tuesday took to Twitter to share an old video where he is seen candidly talking about his days of struggle.

20:21 (IST)21 Jul 2020
'Let’s celebrate the memory of the bright life we lost'

Swara Bhasker shared on Twitter, "Had an introspective moment. I think we owe #SushantSinghRajput ‘s family an apology 4 the number of times they must’ve read his name in our arguments. This is not about us.  Sushant has a release coming up, let’s celebrate the memory of the bright life we lost. Let’s be kind."

19:50 (IST)21 Jul 2020
'It is about the sadism of the human psyche'

In an interview with Pinkvilla, Kangana said, "When I spoke to Karan about it, I was just kind of teasing him, pulling his leg. Had I known these people are so dangerous, had I known it would cause death, had I known it is not just something to joke about or tease about, it is just not something about snatching films. It is not only about films, it is also about vengeance, the sadism of the human psyche."

19:23 (IST)21 Jul 2020
When Kangana Ranaut acknowledged 'star kids quota'

Anurag Kashyap shared an interview of Kangana from 2010 where she says that star kids have their quote in Bollywood, just like she had her quota while giving PMT exams, because of her family. He shared this with the caption, "This thread is exactly my point .."

In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, filmmaker R Balki said that talent is the only thing that matters while also pointing out that Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor are great actors. He said, "Find me a better actor than Alia (Bhatt) or Ranbir (Kapoor), and we’ll argue." Soon after this statement, many actors and filmmakers including Shekhar Kapur, Apurva Asrani, Maanvi Gagroo among others shared a list of actors who they believe are better than Alia and Ranbir.

Shekhar Kapur said, "Best actors today are coming from theatre. There's newfound respect for them. And confidence." Kapur was set to work with Sushant Singh Rajput in Paani, but the film never materialised.

Anurag Kashyap also recently weighed in on the insider vs outsider debate and said, "Actors are not the only ones who make a movie what it is. At least, 150 people or more make up a set. The day these ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ treat different assistants and spot boys with respect is the day when we can proceed with this debate further."

Not just nepotism, the debate going on also highlights the favoritism aspect of the industry, which is prevalent in most professions. In a recent interview with, veteran actor Ranjeet said, "Nepotism was always there, so was the rivalry. I remember Parveen Babi was supposed to star in Silsila, but the producer thought Jaya Bachchan would look better."

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