Director-producer Karan Johar seems to be in no mood to get over Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut’s comments over nepotism in the Hindi film industry. Months after the row, he took the stage at the IIFA Awards on Sunday night and once again took potshots at the Revolver Rani star.
Karan was supported in his potshots by co-host Saif Ali Khan, as well as actor Varun Dhawan, who was receiving the award for ‘Best Performance in a comic role’ for Dishoom.
As Varun came onto stage, Saif remarked, “You are here because of your papa (father),” referring to Varun’s father, and film director David Dhawan. Varun replied to Saif, saying, “You are here because of your mummy (yesteryear actor Sharmila Tagore).”
Karan chimed in to refer to his own father, the late filmmaker Yash Johar, and said, “I am here because of my pappa.”
The trio then shouted in chorus, “Nepotism rocks!”
And as if this wasn’t enough, Varun referred to the song ‘Bole chudiyan, bole kangana…’ from Karan’s film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Karan quickly replied saying, “Kangana naa hi bole toh accha hai… Kangana bohot bolti hai.” (Kangana talks a lot, it’s better if she doesn’t talk.)
Such sparkling wit, Karan! And it looks like viewers were not amused either. Many took to social media to point out that the boorish exchange at IIFA proved Kangana’s point – that nepotism is alive and thriving.
Don't get me wrong..but all I see in iifa awards is nepotism.— Bhuvan Bam (@Bhuvan_Bam) July 16, 2017
I'd like to see the likes of Karan Johar, Saif & Varun Dhawan try their Nepotism humor when Kangana is in their presence. #IIFA— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) July 17, 2017
The IIFA awards rightly proves that Kangana was right in commenting about "Nepotism" in Bollywood. So much disappointed!!— Ankita Kundu (@ankita2u) July 16, 2017
At iifa, Saif, Varun, Karan joked "Nepotism rocks." Forget being empathetic, they still remain a condescending lot https://t.co/U97vkKEcfZ— Ankur Pathak (@aktalkies) July 17, 2017
I generally love @Varun_dvn and all that he does but those remarks about Kangana/nepotism at IIFA were so tasteless. Wtf fam.— jas (@jasbinder_) July 17, 2017
The tiff began earlier this year when Kangana was lauded for calling out the apathy of Bollywood directors and producers (including Karan) towards newcomers like her on Karan’s celebrity talk show Koffee with Karan.
While Karan remained silent on his show, he later hit out at Kangana when she wasn’t around to rebut him – during a chat with the students of London School of Economics in March. He slammed Kangana, saying that he was done with her playing the ‘woman card’ and the ‘victim card’. He added that she should leave the film industry if she was having so much trouble.
Kangana, not one to back down, told Mumbai Mirror in an interview a few days later, that she played ‘every card in the book’ for different circumstances in her life. She added that her battle was not with Karan but with male chauvinism and the problematic mentality pervading the industry.