Bollywood’s obituary is being written by the #BoycottBollywood trend that threatens to topple the economics of filmmaking and distribution in India.
Whether it’s comments made by stars decades ago, or casting star kids to play lead roles, the reasons for boycotting films just keep getting more bizarre with every passing day.
Here’s how Bollywood and South Indian stars have reacted to it so far:
In an interview with India Today, Darlings actor, Vijay Varma shared that how the #BoycottBollywood has reached a point where it’s become scary.
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“It can scare you. It has just gone a bit overboard now. I feel something that you said 10 years ago could have been objectionable, and made a few people raise their eyebrows. It could be a prevalent exercise at that time, but in today’s times, it is no longer frowned upon. I feel you cannot be cancelled for something like that.”
Arjun Kapoor’s comment on the #BoycottTrend has gained the most publicity with even politicians bashing him for his apparent “arrogance”. In an interview with Bollywood Hungama, he said that Bollywood has been silent for too long and needs to do something about this damaging trend.
“I think we made a mistake by being silent about it and that was our decency but people have started taking advantage of that. I think we made a mistake by thinking that ‘our work will speak for ourselves’. You know you don’t always need to get your hand dirty but I guess we tolerated it a lot and now people have made this a habit. We need to come together and do something about it because what people write about us or the hashtags that trend, are far away from reality. When we do films that do good at the box office, then at that time people like us not because of our surnames but because of the film.”
While promoting his next film, Dhokha Round D Corner, Madhavan said, “If we release good movies and people like it then they will naturally come to theatres.” However, it’s his astute observation on the Bollywood Vs South Indian films debate that really took the cake.
“I would like to clearly state that only a few films have done better than those of Hindi stars. They are Pushpa, the KGF films, the Baahubali films and RRR. These are only six films that have worked. We can’t call this a pattern. I think the audience’s preferences have changed after the pandemic. They are consuming content from all over the world.”
The Liger actor won hearts with his honest take on nepotism during his appearance on Koffee With Karan Season 7. At a recent event, he explained how boycotting the film industry will affect thousands of families adversely.
In an interview with India Today, Vijay said, “There are 200-300 actors working on a film and all of us have staff members, so a film gives employment to many people and is a source of livelihood for many. When Aamir Khan Sir makes a Laal Singh Chaddha, it is his name that features prominently in the film, but there are 2000-3000 families that are being provided for.” He further requested the audience to see the bigger picture and realize how it will also affect the economy.
Alia Bhatt’s Darlings recently fell prey to the boycott trend a day before its release. Her take on the matter is something a lot of people are thinking right now.
“We need to cancel ‘cancel culture’. We need to boycott boycotts.”
While promoting their film, Dobaara, Anurag Kashyap and Taapsee Pannu adopted a unique strategy.
Instead of reacting to the boycott trend and asking people to stop, they asked people to boycott Dobaraa too, owing to the massive publicity it brings for actors and the movies. She said:
“I feel out of place when even biggies are being boycotted. Who wouldn’t want to be in the league of Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar? Please boycott us too. Don’t leave us.”
Echoing Vijay Deverakonda’s sentiments on the boycott culture, Suniel Shetty also finds this trend damaging as it affects many people’s lives. This is what he said in a recent interview:
“I hate this ‘boycott Bollywood’ campaign that is going on on Twitter. I always pray it stops because we are an industry too and there are a lot of people feeding off us. So for that sake let’s not destroy an industry that has its own legacy of good people and people who probably at some stage make mistakes. But aren’t we humans too? Give one that opportunity. I only say it’s not fair.”