Mahesh Bhatt weighs in on nepotism debate as Bhansali gets criticism for casting niece Sharmin Segal in Heeramandi: ‘Bringing Bollywood to its knees’

android, mahesh bhatt weighs in on nepotism debate as bhansali gets criticism for casting niece sharmin segal in heeramandi: ‘bringing bollywood to its knees’

Mahesh Bhatt weighs in on nepotism debate as Bhansali gets criticism for casting niece Sharmin Segal in Heeramandi: ‘Bringing Bollywood to its knees’

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt says the nepotism debate has run out of nuance and anyone still looking at it in black and white must realise that it is a "childish" way of talking about it. The conversation around nepotism in the film industry has gained momentum yet again after people criticised actor Sharmin Segal for her performance in Heeramandi, directed by her filmmaker uncle Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

It was on Karan Johar’s chat show, in 2017, when actor Kangana Ranaut had called the filmmaker "flag bearer of nepotism". The impact of the word was so widespread that it logged itself in the Bollywood lexicon, with many outsiders voicing their concerns over the industry favouring cliques and star kids.

As the buzz word has made its entry again with regards to Heeramandi, Bhatt was asked to weigh in on the debate. The filmmaker told The Times of India that the word nepotism was coined as a "tool to bring the mighty Bollywood industry to its knees."

Mahesh Bhatt said that there are "innumerable hungry, shame-hungry, adulation- seeking young people" and "this kind of labeling appeals to them." Bhatt's daughter Alia Bhatt was launched in films by filmmaker Karan Johar.

With many calling out Sharmin's performance on the show, the heat of trolling has also reached Sanjay Leela Bhansali, as many wondered why the filmmaker cast his niece on the Netflix show. Bhatt, however, feels Bhansali should not be shamed for his casting decision. Bhatt said that filmmakers may give an opportunity to those from their own fraternity or bloodline but after a launch, it is the person's caliber and capability that determines where one eventually reaches.

Also Read | Sanjay Leela Bhansali denies casting Sharmin Segal just because she’s his niece, says he put her ‘through the grind with innumerable tests’

Bhatt said that a person who has the potential to make it, will make it to the top anyway and said that "the industry is full of glorious accounts of people who came from no backgrounds with no godfathers." He said that reducing a debate like this to a simple yes or no was "childish". He also defended Bhansali by praising his "glorious track record of getting the best out of the actors" and said that this kind of incident does a "lot of harm by brushing everybody in one stroke."

Bhatt said the film industry has people, who will go out of their way to look for new talent, which he himself has done over the years as he claimed to have "gone out of my way to cast people from diverse backgrounds." He also insisted that someone like Salman Khan, who is the son of veteran screenwriter Salim Khan, was never cast by his father and insisted that "Salman created his own way."

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