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Vivek Agnihotri: Nepotism in Bollywood closes doors to talented outsiders

Writer: Heidi Hsia

Bollywood has become a close-knit kind of mafia?
Bollywood has become a close-knit kind of mafia?

30 Sep – Amid the debates on the viral topic of nepotism babies that have been going around social media when it comes to both Hollywood and Bollywood, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri decided to share his two cents on the topic in a recent interview.

"The Kashmir Files" director has expressed his concern over the trend, in which children of the players in film industry began to fill all the vacant spots and making Bollywood what he called "a very close-knit kind of mafia."

"Bollywood used to be different. I think pre-2000, it was a different place because most of the people were outsiders. And then those stars, people who became big stars by 2000, their children then came and then slowly it became a very close-knit kind of a mafia, and they have some problems with outsiders. I don't know why. And that's why they are suffering also," he said.

Vivek says stars in the past like Madhuri Dixit were outsiders
Vivek says stars in the past like Madhuri Dixit were outsiders

Vivek Agnihotri isn't against nepotism per se if one has talent
Vivek Agnihotri isn't against nepotism per se if one has talent

He added that after the year 2000, the door seemed to have been closed to talents outside of these Bollywood families - the Khans and Kapoors, the Bachchans and the Roshans, among others – with the trend destroying careers of talented outsiders.

"If you look at the stars, Dharmendra was an outsider, Jitendra was an outsider, Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda, Shatrughan Sinha were outsiders. You name anybody – all the actors, heroes, heroines – Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi – these are all outsiders. They are not coming from film families. But when these people became very successful, their children came, then directors' children came, then the producers' children came. I have no problems with that. Absolutely. My problem is when you push incompetence, if the world can see, even you know that this brother cannot even act, or say A for acting or D for direction," Vivek said.

Back in May, the topic of "Nepotism babies" was raised again after it was revealed that nearly half of Zoya Akhtar's cast for her new movie, "The Archies" - Suhana Khan (daughter of Shah Rukh Khan), Agastya Nanda (grandchild of Amitabh Bachchan) and Khushi Kapoor (daughter of Sridevi) - are part of the Bollywood dynasty.

Don't we all know Bollywood's Kapoor sisters
Don't we all know Bollywood's Kapoor sisters

Rakesh Roshan directed all the three "Krrish" movies that starred his son Hrithik
Rakesh Roshan directed all the three "Krrish" movies that starred his son Hrithik


"The Archies" was recently slammed for casting Bollywood heirs and heiresses



Cinema Online, 30 September 2022

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