A disgraceful joke about their female colleague shows the three still live in dinosaur age.
The International Indian Film Academy Awards, which concluded in New York on Saturday, provided plenty of highlight moments. For two days, fans and stars of Bollywood flocked to the world’s greatest city to celebrate Indian cinema, which has now become second only to Hollywood in reach and worldwide appeal.
But the 18th edition of IIFA might be remembered for its one lowlight moment, when three Bollywood brats decided rather idiotically to settle scores with a female colleague on the international stage.
On the final night of the event, director Karan Johar, who has made a number of blockbuster movies, and actors Saif Ali Khan and Varun Dhawan sang in unison on stage: “Nepotism rocks.”
It was supposedly a dig at the popular Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut, who famously accused Johar of promoting nepotism on a television show that the director hosted several months ago.
Johar is the son of the late producer Yash Johar, while Khan is the son of former heroine Sharmila Tagore. Dhawan, a former assistant to Johar, is the son of director David Dhawan.
Ranaut said on the show, “Koffee with Karan,” that children of Bollywood insiders are helicoptered in, while an outsider like her has to toil hard to get a foothold in the industry. She criticized directors like Johar for perpetuating this phenomenon.
It seems Johar, who was a host at the event, along with Khan, has not forgotten the criticism.
The infamous episode at IIFA began when Dhawan came on stage. He was greeted by Khan with a quip: “You are here because of your papa.”
Dhawan responded: “And you are here because of your mommy.”
Then Johar chimed in: “I’m here because of my papa.”
After these exchanges, the trio celebrated their Bollywood existence with a toast: “Nepotism rocks!”
Ranaut, who has taken on the male hierarchy of Bollywood, has not responded so far.
Joking about their own entry into the Bollywood via their parents, Johar, Khan and Dhawan were trying to get back at Ranaut in a lighthearted manner.
But not many saw it as a joke, as is evident from the social media reactions.
The pathetic joke of the three brats would not have raised as much eyebrows if it had happened in one of the Mumbai award events. By bringing the Bollywood baggage to Big Apple — which is a relatively more meritorious society than the one they inhabit — the trio showed that they still live in the dinosaur age.