The word controversy is synonymous with Bollywood celebrities. The two go hand-in-hand. Not a day goes by when there is no new issue making headlines related to our film stars. However, some of them have way too much affinity for ruffling everyone’s feathers and digging up old graves with their comments.
From Kangana Ranaut to Shahid Kapoor to Vivek Oberoi to Zaira Wasim, here is a list of some of the most significant controversies that happened in the first half of this year.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi
Very soon there is going to be a change in the Oxford Dictionary and Kangana’s name will be used as a synonym for the word ‘controversy’. The acclaimed actress is never short of a dispute or a feud. She started the year with a bang as her magnum opus Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi released to good reviews. The film raked in moolah at the box office too and became the third highest grossing female-centric film. However, the film braved many storms. Kangana donned the co-directors hat for the film and shared director’s credit with Krish Jagarlamudi who was the original director of the film. However, as he abandoned the film when a reshoot was called to start another project Kangana was asked to take on the helm and she effectively executed her responsibility but not without ex-director and co-stars crying foul in media post-release.
Box office clash with Hrithik Roshan and support to his sister Sunaina Roshan on her allegations against her family
On the other hand, there was a box office clash with Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30 and Kangana’s Judgementall Hai Kya but soon it was averted as the former decided to change the date of his film’s release. Another controversy related to Hrithik and Kangana was when the former’s sister Sunaina Roshan alleged mistreatment at the hands of her family members and said that she had always supported Kangana in her feud against Hrithik.
Feud with Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor and Mahesh Bhatt
Kangana took repeated digs at Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor and Mahesh Bhatt as well. She called them ‘dumb’ and ‘pappus’ for not having an opinion on societal issues. In an online poll when Kangana beat Alia as Best actress for her role in Manikarnika to that of Alia’s Gully Boy she termed it as a no-brainer and specifically asked not to compare the two and called Alia’s performance as mediocre. Through her sister Rangoli, Kangana also levied allegations on Mahesh Bhatt for ill-treating her on at the premiere of her film Woh Lamhe way back.
Legal case with Aditya Pancholi
She is also fighting a legal case against Aditya Pancholi for assault and abuse. To an extent, the charges are pressed under the section of rape.
Spat with a journalist, Media boycotts
Just a couple of days ago Kangana lambasted a journalist for writing bad things about her during her film Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’s release. The verbal spat took place at the song launch for her film Judgementall Hai Kya. The matter escalated to a level where Kangana has been boycotted by the media, and she is relentlessly calling out press 'dasvi fail' and 'bikau'.
Shahid Kapoor- Kabir Singh
After being a part of the Hindi film industry for 15 long years Shahid Kapoor finally broke the jinx with Kabir Singh and managed to enter the Rs 100 crore club. The film is going great at the box office and has already crossed Rs 250 crore but there have been umpteen numbers of backlash and criticism coming the film’s way for depicting toxic masculinity and violent behaviour towards women. The actor was also slammed for taking up a role that sends out a wrong signal to the society and normalizing misogynistic behaviour and physical abuse.
Sandeep Reddy Vanga- Controversial Interview
The director of Kabir Singh, Sandeep Reddy Vanga kicked a hornet’s nest when he gave an explosive interview about his film that showcased his bizarre views on love and relationship. The director’s views were slammed by one and all right from film directors, actors, screenwriters, critics and netizens. Talking about the criticism the film received, Vanga said, “I feel all the criticism the film faced is pseudo. When you are deeply in love there is honesty in the relationship. If you don’t have the liberty of slapping each other, I don’t see anything in that relation.” He also took a dig at female critics who stated that they felt uncomfortable watching the film in the theatre because the men clapped when Kabir slaps Preeti. To this Vanga said, “I think that these women were never in love and they never experienced it the right way. The female critics were only on the feminist side. They don’t understand the difference between description and objectivity.”
Tanushree Dutta-Nana Patekar
Tanushree Dutta had raked up a storm last year when she claimed that Nana Patekar harassed her on the sets of the 2008 film Horn Ok Pleasss. Her statements fueled the #MeToo wave that named and shamed a lot of powerful people in the media industry. However, the actress received a rude shock when the Mumbai Police filed a closure report in the sexual harassment case lodged by Tanushree against Patekar. The police gave a clean chit to Patekar. However, the actress is not ready to accept defeat and is soon to file a protest petition against the B-summary report filed by the Police.
Karan Johar-Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul
This season of Karan Johar’s chat show Koffee With Karan tried to bring many new celebrities on the couch. Amongst the first-timers were cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul. However, the cricketers ruffled quite a few feathers for their crass and sexist comments on the show that got them a disciplinary hearing as well as notices from the BCCI. They were even provisionally suspended by the Committee of Administrators (COA) for their remarks before the suspension was lifted pending an inquiry by the Ombudsman. The two cricketers received severe flak for their comments and were fined Rs 20 lakh each that included a payment of Rs 1 lakh each to the most deserving widows of the ten constables who lost their lives in the Pulwama Attack through Bharat Ke Veer App.
Vivek Oberoi once again got a raw deal over a silly meme that he shared on social media. During the General Elections 2019, Vivek shared a meme made by a Twitter user which poked fun at Aishwarya Rai’s romantic relationships over the years. Interestingly, the meme poked fun at Vivek and the actor was having a hearty laugh at Aishwarya’s and his common past but the meme was blown out of proportion and many slammed the actor. He ultimately deleted the tweet and issued an unconditional apology for sharing it in jest.
PM Narendra Modi biopic
Vivek’s film PM Narendra Modi that is a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also embroiled in controversy as the opposition parties appealed to the Election Commission for banning its release during the General Elections. The film which was supposed to release on April 11 was finally released on May 24 after the Lok Sabha election results were formally announced.
Hina Khan Cannes - Journalist Row
A renowned film magazine editor poked fun at Hina Khan’s Cannes debut that did not go down well with anyone related to showbiz. Right from Farah Khan, Nakuul Mehta, Karanvir Bohra, Rocky Jaiswal, Rajeev Masand and several others slammed the editor for his “Cannes has suddenly become Chandivali studios kya?" remark. Hina won a lot of accolades for her Cannes debut as well as the dignified way she handled the controversy. However, the editor had to issue a public apology and delete his Insta story on which he had made the remark.
Zaira Wasim Quits Bollywood
National Award winner and a powerhouse of talent Zaira Wasim shocked everyone when she recently announced her decision to quit films. She issued a public statement where she wrote that her profession was interfering with her Imaan (faith) and her relationship with her religion was threatened. Her decision brought out a lot of mixed reactions from people who slammed her as well as Islam for propagating such a regressive outlook. However, there were many who stood by Zaira and asked people to let the young actress be. Whatever it is Bollywood has lost a fine talent indeed by this decision of Zaira’s.
Oh yeah, and the trend for ruining old classics by remixing and recreating them continues. We had hoped that 2019 will provide us with some respite from such horrendous renditions but the year has only brought us further grief. Right from Mungda in Total Dhamaal to the recent Sheher Ki Ladki in Khandaani Shafakhana the music composers, singers and filmmakers are out to disappoint us. They have perfectly made a mess of things and even though the veteran artists who have rendered the original continue to express their displeasure and disgust the new-age composers and filmmakers are not letting go of the trend.
Ayushmann Khurrana-Article 15
Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Article 15 faced the ire of the Brahmin community in Uttar Pradesh prior to its release. Since the film was inspired by Badaun rape and murder case, Brahmins were upset over the fact that the story had been "tweaked". They felt that by portraying the accused men as Brahmins the film shows the community in a bad light. There was a big hue and cry over the film’s trailer and a petition was filed to ban the release of the film as well. However, the CBFC passed the film with a U/A certificate and five negligible cuts. On the other hand, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a petition that was seeking a cancellation of the certification granted to the film by CBFC on the grounds that the filmmakers cannot use the title "Article 15" for commercial gains and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) erred in issuing a certificate without considering the provisions of Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act.