Indian actress Soni Razdan has defended her husband, director Mahesh Bhatt, after a Twitter user accused her spouse of being the ultimate ‘flag-bearer of nepotism’ in Bollywood.
“You’re so ill informed. My husband has given more breaks to newcomers than any one else in this industry. There was a whole long period of time where he refused to work with stars. Then he was accused of not working with stars ! Do ur homework and then talk please,” tweeted Razdan.
Her attempt at protecting Bhatt triggered an online debate with another user accusing the director of exploiting young talents like Kangana Ranaut and the late actress Jiah Khan.
Another Twitter user responded: “Well the ‘homework’ says he used to trap vulnerable teenage girls who live in Mumbai alone and who can fall for his Dominant kinks and obey to whatever he says. Ask Jiah’s family & Kangna, aapka bhi homework ho jayega [your homework will be done too.]”
Actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death has triggered a massive uproar in Bollywood and has prompted movie fans to examine nepotism and favouritism.
The Hindi film industry is notoriously hostile towards ‘outsiders’ and tend to be kinder and more open towards insiders or aspiring talents with industry connections.
Bhatt’s name has been constantly dragged into the conversation about Rajput's death, with the filmmaker even commenting that the actor seemed to be mentally unwell.
Even Pooja Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt's daughter, weighed in and defended her family.
Apart from Mahesh Bhatt, journalists such as writer and critic Rajeev Masand have also been accused of writing nasty ‘blind items’ meant to discredit and erode Rajput’s character as a ‘skirt chaser’ and ‘womaniser’.
A blind item is a news article that is often gossipy in nature where the identities of people involved are not revealed.
In his blog, writer Apoorva Asrani spoke about how articles written by journalists may have incredible power in destroying a person’s mental well-being.
“Sushant had a series of cowardly blind items written about him that could have broken even the toughest of spirits. He was called a skirt chaser, unprofessional, some claimed that his films were duds, one even named him in a #metoo accusation and called him a rapist. Sushant had to post screenshots of his chat with the alleged victim to prove that he was innocent. Can you imagine what he must have gone through in the nights and days leading to this death? This middle class boy from Patna, a few years in maximum city, working hard to realise his dreams; but he had to expend all that energy, relentlessly fighting this dirty, unfounded slander,” wrote Asrani.