20 June 2020 I Social media debate about widespread nepotism in Bollywood has overshadowed COVID-19 media discourse since Sushant Singh Rajput died by suicide on 14 June.
A Change.org petition asking Bollywood fans to boycott “Karan Johar, YRF films, Salman Khan” is on track to hit its target of 4.5 million signatures.
“In this petition, we ask popular streaming companies such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hot star to immediately stop promoting movies generated by the above mentioned media houses. These are not movies, these are platforms to launch children of famous movie stars. These are not movies, there is evidence that nepotism is running rampant in the industry,” writes Jayshree Srikanth on her Change.org petition.
Bollywood, in fact, the whole of India and Hindi film fan communities across the globe, froze last Sunday when the 34-year-old actor allegedly took his own life in his Bandra apartment.
The discourse around nepotism and favouritism has since rocked India as starkids, offspring of some of the most celebrated Bollywood stalwarts, become target of sympathisers and fans of the suicide victim.
According to a report, Mumbai Police investigators probing the tragic end to the young star’s life and career have today received a copy of the contract Mr Rajput had signed with Yash Raj Films.
While the deceased actor had done two films with Yash Raj Films, the banner had reportedly backed out of a third project.
I knew the pain you were going through. I knew the story of the people that let you down so bad that you would weep on my shoulder. I wish Iwas around the last 6 months. I wish you had reached out to me. What happened to you was their Karma. Not yours. #SushantSinghRajput
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) June 15, 2020
Actor Kangana Ranaut has gained millions of new fans over the past few days due to her stand on the tragic demise of the young actor.
Quoting Shekhar Kapoor, Ms Ranaut said, “It was a systematic dismantling of a fragile mind.”
She also claimed, in an Instagram video posted yesterday, that she has spoken to Mr Rajput’s father who apparently told her that the actor was “extremely disturbed due to tensions in the film industry”.
In the video, Ms Ranaut has referred to a number of media outlets in Mumbai that she said published news materials in recent times that caused “mental, emotional and psychological lynching” to the actor.
She suggested that such journalists are paid for by the “movie mafia” that hold sway over one of the biggest film industries of the world.