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Kangana Ranaut and Karan Johar. Image Credit: GN Archives

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, who famously described movie mogul Karan Johar as the 'flag-bearer of nepotism' and the 'king of movie mafia', took another dig at him on Twitter on March 30.

This time around, the ‘Thalaivi’ actress was critical of his anchoring style as a chat show host.

Johar is the mastermind behind the hit, often salacious chat show, ‘Koffee With Karan’, in which famous stars sit on a couch and air their dirty laundry or indulge in Bollywood gossip. Johar is an industry insider and stars feel incredibly comfortable with him, which Johar has often exploited with much delight. What’s often said on the show has stirred controversies and petty fights among colleagues in Bollywood.

A post from a Twitter user prompted Ranaut to lampoon Johar’s style of interviewing stars. Ranaut also hailed actress and talk show host Simi Garewal’s classic style of questioning. The Twitter user had written about how much she enjoyed the episode in which Garewal hosted former Tamil Nadu chief minister and actress J Jayalalithaa and how the tone was kept classy. Garewal’s now-defunct chat show was conducted in an all-white set, while the hostess always maintained a graceful and understanding tone.

“Yes @Simi_Garewaltapped tapped into real essence of a celebrity, A complete sketch of the subject. Rendezvous with Jayaa maa has helped me a lot in my research, same can’t be said about certain Papa Jo whose interviews are all about [expletive], bullying, gossip...,” wrote Ranaut.

The actress will been seen playing J Jayalalithaa in her upcoming biopic ‘Thalaivi’.

Nepotism debate

Johar, who has launched several star kids in Bollywood including Alia Bhatt and Ananya Panday, has been at constant loggerheads with Ranaut. While Johar maintains that he harbours no ill-will towards Ranaut, the actress has never been that forgiving.

In an interview with Mumbai Mirror in September 2020, Johar was quoted as saying: “So much has been said about Kangana, me and some kind of rivalry or simmering tension. But at every public event, we’ve met, we’ve greeted each other graciously. Whatever may have been said or insinuated in print, I think I’m too old and wise to hold any kind of malice in my heart for anybody. As a filmmaker, I respect Kangana’s talent, craft, and what she brings to the table. She is an actor who has proved her mettle and is deserving of the honour [Padma Shri].”

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But Ranaut’s sister and publicist Rangoli Chandel didn’t appreciate Johar extending an olive branch.

She took to Twitter to hit out at Johar. “Karan Johar ji keh toh aise rahe hain ki jaise phone karne pe Kangana aa jati hai, Bhai saab aapke aur mere chahne se kya hota hai, Kangana ko toh script chahiye hoti hai, kabhi hogi aapke paas uske layak script [Karan Johar believes Kangana is ready for a project with a mere phone call. Kangana wants a good script, would you ever have anything worth her?],” Chandel wrote at the time. Her account is now suspended on Twitter.

Ranaut and Johar’s animosity began when she appeared on his chat show and called him out for promoting favouritism while casting for his films. While Johar has tried to shrug off the ‘flag-bearer of nepotism’ label over the years, her critique of him still stands strong and she never misses a chance to hit back at him.