Responding to filmmaker Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s dig at her criticism on misogyny in movies, producer-screenwriter Kiran Rao clarified that her comment was not specifically about Sandeep’s film. Kiran had spoken about sexism in films in an interview, and after reports said that she was talking about movies like Kabir Singh, Sandeep retorted by bringing her ex-husband and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan into the picture.
In an interview with Dainik Bhaskar, the Animal and Kabir Singh director said, “I want to tell that woman [Kiran Rao] to go and ask Aamir Khan about the song ‘Khamba jaisi khadi hai’ and then come back to me. If you remember [the film] Dil, he almost attempts rape and then makes her [the female actor] think that she has done something wrong.” The song that Sandeep Reddy was referring to has been criticised for objectifying women for which Aamir Khan has apologised as well.
Sandeep Reddy was referring to a discussion that Kiran Rao was a part of where she said that films that use stalking as a means to woo women seem to do extremely well in the box office. While several reports said that Kiran referenced Bahubali and Kabir Singh, she clarified that she did not mention any specific film.
In an interview with The Quint, Kiran Rao addressed Sandeep Reddy’s statements and said that she was not referencing his movies as she had never watched them. “I have often spoken on misogyny and representation of women on screen on various platforms and at various times but I've never taken the name of any film because it's not really about the specific film. It's really about the issues and I will continue to speak on them. Why Mr Vanga Reddy assumed I was talking about his film, you will have to ask him,” she said.
Kiran also responded to Sandeep Reddy’s criticism of Aamir Khan and questioned why it was addressed to her and not Aamir himself. She said, “Aamir is one of the few people who apologised, specifically for the song Mr Vanga Reddy was talking about and other [problematic] films. There are very few people who would look back at their work and apologise for something they did they think is problematic. If you watch Satyamev Jayate [a TV show Aamir Khan used to host which addressed several social issues], there is an episode in Season 3 where he actually talks about this. He is one of those people who has stepped and taken responsibility as a creative person and as a person who is speaking to a mass audience. I think that’s really laudable.”
Asking Sandeep Reddy to have a conversation with Aamir Khan directly instead of directing his criticism at her, Kiran added, “I think if Mr Reddy has something to tell Aamir, he should tell him ‘man to man’. I am not responsible for Aamir’s work or Aamir Khan so I wish Mr Reddy would address his questions directly to him and not me.”