#Voices: Dia Mirza And Divya Dutta Blow The Whistle On Campism In Bollywood, Say Getting Chucked Out Of Movies Was Very Unsettling.
It was Kangana Ranaut who sparked off the infamous nepotism debate when she called Karan Johar the flagbearer of nepotism on his freakin’ show (she’s got spine BTW), and it is her who’s still holding the reins of exposing Bollywood’s two-faced reality after three years. She was then attacked by the likes of Karan, Saif and Sonam Kapoor who brushed off the issue saying it doesn’t exist or that they are proud of it, basically implying “nepotism rocks”.
Call it the loss of a brilliant actor or the recent realization of the power of social media, the difference now is while she still might be driving the bus of this outsiders vs insiders debate, a lot of actors have come on board, blowing the whistle on the unfair business going on in Bollywood. And, that’s good.
Welcome to Season 1, episode 1213 of whistle blowing in Bollywood. Two more actors have opened about the dark reality of Bollywood’s favouritism, nepotism and campism (yes, that’s a new one). Honestly, if tomorrow I hear Amitabh Bachchan speaking up about bearing the brunt of nepotism in his days, I won’t be surprised.
Anyway, this time, it is Divya Dutta and Dia Mirza who have spoken out about how camp exists in Bollywood and losing movies to other actors (probably nepo kids, if that wasn’t obvious), is not a new thing in the industry. In an interview Dia Mirza talked about how camps (groups of people who empower those who belittle and bully others) exist in the industry. She said, “There are camps. Of course, there are camps! There are camps of people who get along with each other, who work closely and intimately with each other, their personalities gel.”
Also Read: #Voices: Vidya Balan Said When She Was Replaced In Many South Indian Films, She Thought Her Career Was Over. But She Never Gave Up
She told Hindustan Times, “Is there favouritism? Of course, there is. But it is a social issue, it’s something that all human beings do and happens in all walks of life. It happens in schools and classrooms, teachers have their favourite students. Favouritism is nothing new to the construct of human nature. It is something that we have always had.”
“Honestly, I feel there is a PR machinery. There are certain individuals that because of maybe their stronger revenue stream have certain people handling their PR and there is so much favouritism that even happens in the media. There are so many people who are deserving of more respect and a lot more attention than they get,” she said.
She also said that losing roles to other actors wasn’t easy and very unsettling at first. “I do understand that if I had been favoured by certain individuals, maybe that would have opened up more opportunities for me. But I have always believed that it is important to walk your own path and set your own course and discover your own opportunities. Yes, when I was younger, I used to find it very unsettling.
Another actor Divya Dutta shares Dia’s sentiments. She talked about how she was royally replaced from several movies and “someone else” was given the role, only to leave her feel helpless and hurt. “It used to feel like a huge sense of loss, coming and being rejected or being told on the phone that someone else has been roped in. I’ve been dropped out of many movies at the last minute so that hurts because you feel sheer helplessness because you know how good you could’ve been in that role,” she said.
She remained positive though and the credit goes to her mother. “My mother used to ask ‘Why are you upset?’ then I would say, mom, ‘I’ve been thrown out of the film, why? I don’t know.’ So, she says ‘Does that stop your life? Life never stops and tomorrow’s another day.’ In fact, it’s strange that the people who have dropped me, I have worked with them a few years later with better roles.”
Dia Mirza and Divya Dutta are both brilliant actors who went through same torment from the “movie mafia” in their careers. However, these strong women aren’t going to let anything, not even rejections and replacement affect their mental peace.
Divya Dutta says, “It’s your life and so you have to take what comes your way and there’s no other way. So, I think I have been that way, wanting to leave all these rejections and get the best of what I had.”
Dia also thinks that the ongoing debate is unhealthy for various reasons, waging a personal vendetta being one. She said, “I have lost films to other actors and it’s hurtful but you get up, you dust it off and you move forward. I see a personal agenda in a lot of things that are being said. I see a lot of personal bone to pick with people. I find a lot of the attacks deeply personal and hurtful. That’s why I feel (the insider vs outside debate) is unhealthy.”
This issue has always existed but was never spoken about at the length as it is now. It makes me wonder why it took an actor to take a drastic step and cause a great loss to the industry for the celebrities to finally speak up about the campism and nepotism where outsiders are disposable.
Many talented actors must have vanished unnoticed even before they could make a mark simply because their role was given to someone “with connections.” But I don’t know who to blame anymore. The faulty system? The bigwigs of Bollywood? The biased media or the silent audience who would still watch trashy movies like Race 3 but snub an outsider’s movie? You decide!