Filmmaker Reveals 2012 Campaign Against Priyanka Chopra & How SSR Fell Prey To Bollywood Influentials

New Delhi: Days after Priyanka Chopra revealed that she left Bollywood because of her beef with some influential people in the industry, filmmaker Apurva Asrani extended his support to the ‘Quantico’ actress. Asrani shared how some families in the industry have an edge in the business because they have been around for generations, and they know the pulse of the audience.

“Obviously, they have their favourites and have every right to work with the ones they like. The problem is when they gang up to oust an actor or a technician from not just their movie, but from the entire ecosystem,” he told Hindustan Times.

Recalling a campaign against Priyanka in 2012 in which she was cornered, he was quoted as saying: “She had given two big hits – Barfi and Agneepath – in just one year, but the front page of a city newspaper carried a headline saying that no hero wanted to work with her. They weren’t giving her due, she wasn’t able to grow as an actor and a star,” says Asrani, adding that’s the reason a win for Priyanka is a win for all of the people, who aren’t giving up the fight against a largely corrupt system.

He talked about big egos getting hurt when an actor refused their film or when he/she walked out because of creative differences. “Then these egos call other egos and tell them not to work with this person. They then use the media and powerful journalists to run campaigns to discredit this person. Blind articles are written by corrupt scribes who make damaging accusations. False stories are planted about inappropriate behaviour on set. If this actor/technician is resilient and continues to do good work, then their work is poorly reviewed, or worse, not reviewed at all. If the project still manages to become successful, then news of the success is not carried. All this can be very damaging to a hardworking talent, especially one who doesn’t have a father or uncle in the film business,” revealed Asrani, pointing out how ones like Kartik Aaryan “thrived” despite the “vicious campaigns” against him.

According to Asrani, Priyanka is not the first one to speak against the Bollywood mafias. Several other actors faced similar treatment, and Asrani believes it happens to “anyone who is outspoken, who refuses to be disrespected, who doesn’t demean themselves by agreeing to their regressive ideas, they are pushed into a corner.”

“If you do your research you will find that the ones labelled difficult and problematic are usually the outsiders. The star children are rarely messed with.”

The filmmaker shifted base to Goa after realising that he does not need to play this game to do good work. He believes there are several producers today “who play a fair game because they are not from dynasties and sincerely seek out talent over sycophancy.”

Asrani said that Sushant Singh Rajput became the target of the influentials. “Director Abhishek Kapoor has used a very apt term to describe what was done to Sushant. He called it ‘a systematic dismantling of a fragile mind’. It’s where they use the entire system to slowly ignore you, isolate you. Sushant was snubbed at awards, his last film may have done a whopping 100 crores but it was projected as a flop. He spoke intelligently, but they portrayed his words like he had mental issues. He was harangued right till the end and the worst part is, we could hardly see the truth. It was made to look like he had plum projects, but had an attitude problem.”

But that did not end there for SSR, Asrani asserts, as he goes on to share how Rajput had a fallout with a leading producer and was subsequently falsely accused of #MeToo by a leading journalist in a cowardly blind item.

“When I called out that journalist publicly, the trend of blind items entirely stopped, but I was blacklisted by other journalists who stood in solidarity with their kin. My last web series, a courtroom drama, was not reviewed by any of the ‘senior’ critics. Yet it went on to become a big hit. In fact it was rated as the 5th most watched series ever, but none of them have carried this story. The irony is that the blind item journalist now has a high paying job in the very same production house that Sushant had beef with,” he concluded.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.