New Delhi | Jagran Entertainment Desk: The extreme step of suicide which actor Sushant Singh Rajput undertook on the second Sunday of June-2020, has bared open multiple fault lines of Mumbai’s entertainment world which tends to drive the creative quotient of the industry. Nepotism, ‘ganged up-envy’ and trade of favours by the Industry’s insiders for their close relatives, which tends to sideline the ‘outsider’ talent has become a prime topic of concern which refuses to die down.

Many self-made actors, who made their way to the forefront of stardom while being outsiders –  from Sushmita Sen and Kangana Ranaut to Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkumar Rao –  have opened up about Nepotism and favouritism in the industry.

’Nepotism is a truth you have known for as long as the industry has existed’: Sushmita Sen

The 44-year-old former Miss Universe, who recently reasserted herself as an actor-of-excellence with the runaway success of Ram Madhvani’s Disney-Hotstar series ‘Aarya’, told news agency PTI that Nepotism is a truth you have known for as long as the industry has existed. “With awareness, social and digital space, it has increased thousands of folds,” Sushmita said.

’I was 27 when I did my debut, if I was a star kid, it would've been 22’: Ayushmann Khurrana

When ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ actor was asked in an interview that whether one has to work five times harder to get to the same place as a star kid, Ayushmann said: “My debut, Vicky Donor, was when I was 27. If I was a star kid, it would've been 22. I don't think the difference of five years would've affected much. I think I was a much more mature actor at 27.”

’Because of favouritism I have to see non-talented people in films’: Rajkumar Rao

The critically-acclaimed actor acknowledged the presence of favouritism in the film industry, while adding that he finds it problematic to see non-talented people in the films because of favouritism.

“Favouritism is there of course, it is present everywhere, so it is fine. But my only concern is when because of favouritism I have to see non-talented people in films. That is a problem for me,” the ‘Shadi mein Zaroor Aana’ actor told news agency PTI.

‘Nepotism and Bollywood go hand in hand’: Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Former Miss World Priyanka Chopra, in a World Economic Forum conference in Davos had stated that it was “very hard” for her when she had no contacts in Mumbai’s entertainment industry. The ‘Quantico’ actor who has been awarded with India’s fourth highest civilian honour, Padma shri said: “Nepotism and Bollywood go hand in hand. But there have been few incredible actors over the years that have been able to penetrate that and make a name for themselves and then create their own legacy. Which is also what I am also hoping to do.”

’Have accepted it (Nepotism) as a rule of the game’: Tapsee Pannu

Another critically-acclaimed actress of our times, Tapsee Pannu who established her entertainment prowess with films like ‘Pink’ and ‘Thappad’ said in an interview with Pinkvilla that she has ‘accepted it (Nepotism) as a rule of the game’.

"I have stopped looking at it like a victim. I have accepted it as a rule of the game and I am trying to make my way despite the hurdle which is what I'm doing," Tapsee had said.

Before that Tapsee told news agency PTI that a film went out of her hands not because she was not credible enough, but because she didn’t happen to be so-and-so person’s daughter or sister. "It is not a shocker to me that a film went out of my hands, not because I was not credible, but because I was not so-and-so's daughter or sister or dating so-and-so," Tapsee had said.

’Jahan Hamare sapne poore hote hain wahan inka struggle shuru hota hai’: Sidhant Chaturvedi

In a famous roundtable interview which had many star kids in attendance, Sidhant Chaturvedi, who rose to fame through the portrayal of MC Sher in Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’, said in a response to Ananya Pandey’s assertion of star kids having their own struggles that: “Jahan Hamare sapne poore hote hain wahan inka struggle shuru hota hai” (The point where our dreams come true, their (star kids) struggle begins).

‘It (Nepotism and favouritism) happens a lot in India’: Saif Ali Khan

More than a year after the ‘Sacred Games’ star found himself at the receiving end of backlash from people nationwide, after an infamous ‘Nepotism rocks’ segment he played out with filmmaker Karan Johar in an award show, Saif Ali Khan acknowledged being privileged and said that ‘doors opened for us by the privilege of our birth and the parents we’ve had’.

In an interview with film critic Anupama Chopra, Saif said: “They (trained actors from FTII and NSD) have come up purely through talent, while some of us, frankly, have had doors opened for us by the privilege of our birth and the parents we’ve had.”

You’ll often hear them say, ‘your failure is my success’: Abhay Deol

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“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, released in 2011. Need to chant this title to myself everyday nowadays! Also a great watch when anxious or stressed. I would like to mention that almost all the award functions demoted me and Farhan from main leads, and nominated us as “supporting actors”. Hrithik and Katrina were nominated as “actors in a leading role”. So by the industry’s own logic, this was a film about a man and a woman falling in love, with the man supported by his friends for whatever decisions he takes. There are many covert and overt ways in which people in the industry lobby against you. In this case it was shamelessly overt. I of course boycotted the awards but Farhan was ok with it. #familyfareawards Very creative artwork @kalakkii

A post shared by Abhay Deol (@abhaydeol) onJun 19, 2020 at 3:15am PDT

After opening up on Instagram about the way his portrayal in Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara’ was demoted post its release in the award functions, the actor, in an interview with Hindustan Times said: “Lobby culture has been prevalent in our industry not for years, but decades. Hence, no one thinks about standing up or bothering to do anything. They are all ready to conform, which is why they know that they can get away with it.”

Abhay added further: “People are highly insecure and you’ll often hear them say, ‘your failure is my success’. But, how does that play out in real life? “People planting false stories about you, paid-for reviews being deliberately negative, people gaslighting you within the industry to sabotage you, people robbing you of a nomination or a win at an award show – these are some of the ways in which you make another person’s failure your success.”

‘My connection to the family has made things easy for me’: Alia Bhatt

Actress Alia Bhatt, who is at the receiving end of the backlash against Nepotism in the film industry after Sushant Singh Rajput's death said in an interview to news agency PTI: “My connection to the family has made things easy for me. Nepotism exists. It exists in Bollywood, the business world and during admissions in schools as well.”

‘Of course it (Nepotism) exists’ : Ranbir Kapoor’

The ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ star who made a dream debut in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’ in 2008 acknowledged once that he is the beneficiary of Nepotism in the industry. “My great-grandfather worked hard so that he could give his children the opportunity to do something in life. So on and so forth and it came to me. When I have children, I would like them to have that opportunity and then see how good they are,”  Ranbir had said in a chat with AIB.

‘Star kids already start from a point where they have everything’: Kangana Ranaut

It was the ‘Queen’ of Mumbai’s entertainment world who kicked off the debate on Nepotism in the film industry. The actress called Karan ‘snooty’ of being intolerant to outsiders, and went on to call him as ‘flag bearer of nepotism’. The actress continues to be at the forefront of calling out nepotism and favouritism in the industry.

In an interview to Anupam Kher on republicworld, Kangana had said: “Do these Bollywood kids know that it takes almost 10 years to build an audience and to get a critic. These star kids already start from a point where they have everything and they are not aware of the fact that for an outsider, it can take his entire lifetime to reach the starting point.”

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta