The latest buzzword in the Indian film industry is nepotism. Nepotism refers to the practise of appointing relatives and friends in one’s organisations to positions for which outsiders might be better qualified. While you must be thinking that this term should have no connection to Bollywood, well, you are highly mistaken.
When Kangana Ranaut accused Karan Johar of promoting nepotism on his show, ‘Koffee With Karan’, it sparked off a debate in the film industry and there were divided opinions on it. While some people sided with Kangana, a huge number of them also sided with Karan Johar when he accused Kangana of playing the victim card.
While there are many examples of ordinary people who have become stars on their own accord (read: Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra); there are an equally large number of people who had the right backing at the right time and they became stars.
Here we have for you just a few examples which go on to prove that Bollywood is in fact, a huge flag-bearer of nepotism.
1. Arjun Kapoor
Son of famous film producer, Boney Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor was an overweight adult when he was first spotted by YRF. He was then asked to lose weight if he wanted to start a career in films. And that is what he did. He went on to lose all his weight and become incredibly fit before he started shooting his debut film, ‘Ishaqzaade’. While this film did well and was praised by fans and critics alike, his subsequent films did not do so well. But, he is still seen as the face of many films and his filmography boasts of having worked with some of the biggest names in the film industry.
2. Alia Bhatt
Daughter of producer Mahesh Bhatt and actor Soni Razdan, Alia Bhatt too, was an overweight adult. She was launched by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions in their film, ‘Student Of The Year’, along with Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan. While she has managed to make a mark with her acting skills, the fact still exists that she was given a chance to debut with a huge banner film because of nepotism. All the three, Alia, Varun, and Sidharth are still considered to be Karan’s “children” who he has mentored and are very dear to him. Alia Bhatt is perhaps the only actor who has proven her mettle by doing a wide niche of films like ‘Udta Punjab’, ‘Highway’, and ‘Dear Zindagi’.
3. Athiya Shetty
She is the daughter of famous actor, Suniel Shetty and she made her debut with the Nikhil Advani directed ‘Hero’ in 2015 along with Sooraj Pancholi. The film was produced by Salman Khan and Subhash Ghai. The film flopped miserably, but their careers didn’t as they were launched by Salman Khan and he has made sure to give them the right kind of exposure this time.
4. Emraan Hashmi
Mahesh Bhatt is his uncle and Emraan Hashmi was one of the few actors who came out and agreed to the fact that nepotism does exist in Bollywood. He, in an interview said, “Yes, nepotism exists in our industry, and I got a break because of it. If my uncle [Mahesh Bhatt], who is a producer and director hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have been an actor.” His initial films earned him the tag of a ‘serial kisser’ and till today, he hasn’t shied away from that image.
5. Shraddha Kapoor
She is the daughter of the famous comic-villain Shakti Kapoor; and Shraddha Kapoor got a break in movies because of this tag. While she is extremely beautiful, her acting skills are next to zero. Almost all her films have failed miserably, but that hasn’t stopped her from getting film projects. She was last seen in Mohit Suri’s ‘Half Girlfriend’, which was based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel of the same name and needless to say, the film fared poorly in the box office. While her debut film, ‘Aashiqui 2′ did do decent business at the box office, all her other films have flopped.
6. Sonakshi Sinha
Daughter of Shotgun aka Shatrughan Sinha and Poonam Sinha, Sonakshi Sinha made her debut opposite Salman Khan in the hit film franchise, ‘Dabangg’. While that film did huge business because of the presence of Salman Khan, Sonakshi’s career was boosted because of that. But, just like with other star kids, she has failed to leave an impression in Bollywood. Her films have tanked at the box office and only a few of her films like ‘Lootera’ and the ‘Dabangg’ series have managed to shine. She is landing a ton of lead roles in many movies and her career seems to be flourishing.
7. Sonam Kapoor
Daughter of jhakkaas actors, Anil and Sunita Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor too was an overweight adult. When she lost weight, she was offered Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’ alongside another debutant in Ranbir Kapoor. The film tanked miserably at the box office, but that didn’t stop Sonam Kapoor from getting lead roles in various films. Almost all her films have failed to make their mark at the box office, barring her latest release, ‘Neerja’, which was directed by Ram Madhvani. She was even publically called out by one of her co-stars, Abhay Deol for the movie ‘Aisha’ where he said that the film had more to do with clothes than acting.
8. Tiger Shroff
He is the son of Jackie Shroff and is known more for his controversial sexist statements rather than for his acting. When he debuted with the film, ‘Heropanti’ alongside actor Kriti Sanon, it failed to leave an impression on the audience. While Kriti had a tough time getting good roles after that, Tiger’s career seems to have taken off with him getting lead roles in multiple movies. It’s another story that those films do not do well at the box office.
9. Varun Dhawan
He is the son of famous producer David Dhawan and was launched in Bollywood through Karan Johar’s ‘Student Of The Year’. He has managed to prove his acting capabilities and is a huge star with quite a female fan following. A few of his films have done well, but he is still a product of nepotism, and this fact cannot be denied by anyone.
Still think nepotism doesn’t exist in Bollywood? Well, it’s time to re-think that idea!