Over the years, Koffee With Karan has been the hot couch of many controversies. The Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul episode can easily be ranked highest in terms of the damage faced by the guests. While some believe, in the post #metoo era, people are finally being held accountable for their problematic behaviour, many have even pointed out how these cricketers had to pay a bigger price for saying something just as inappropriate as some other celebs have done in the past.
That point is definitely debatable, but what isn’t is that there indeed has been way too many cringeworthy and controversial moments on Koffee With Karan over the years. Kangana Ranaut calling KJo the flagbearer of nepotism to his face, on his own show or Alia Bhatt inadvertently being exposed to sexist trolls for a purported lack of general knowledge aren’t the moments we are talking about. Here are the ones which we are:
1. Aamir Khan took credit for getting “the ball rolling” on the #metoo movement in Bollywood
Simply because Aamir decided to walk out of a Subash Kapoor film after he was accused of sexual misconduct, KJo suggested that Aamir got the #metoo ball rolling in Bollywood. And, he took the credit also. In a time, when everyone is trying to make the world aware of passing the mic to the people who have actually faced oppression, they didn’t even realise how tone-deaf they both sounded.
2. Ranveer Singh told Anushka Sharma if she wants her bottom pinched, he is right there to do it
While Anushka looked completely taken aback, she somehow smiled through it before hitting Ranveer. She also chastised him for talking to her that way, “You don’t speak to me like that”. All Karan did was giggle uncontrollably.
3. Sonam Kapoor took a dig at Kangana’s English without realising how elitist she was being
Kangana’s less-than-flawless English speaking skills was actually a point of contention for many when she was just starting out in Bollywood. Taking a dig at that, Sonam had remarked in one of the earlier seasons of Koffee With Karan that even though Kangana’s fashion sense was good, her English was not. Given the fact that Kangana didn’t come from a privileged background like Sonam or the other star kids, this statement was highly problematic. Correcting other people’s grammar is a favourite hobby of some people nowadays, but, the truth remains that it’s pretentious, patronising, and reeks of elitism.
4. Emraan Hashmi body shamed Shraddha Kapoor and told her to eat something
Emraan emulated his uncle, Mahesh Bhatt, who was the co-guest on the Koffee couch with him, and minced no words in being critical of most of his industry peers. He called Aishwarya Rai plastic, and proceeded to body shame Shraddha because she’s too thin, according to him. People had no awareness of movements like body positivity and body acceptance – which applies to skinny bodies, fat bodies, and everything in between – and therefore no one even raised an eyebrow. Things have changed now though, telling a thin girl to eat a sandwich, and a fat girl to hit the gym to appease the male gaze won’t be taken as kindly…or so one hopes.
5. Sonam and Deepika Padukone made snide remarks about Katrina Kaif’s age
This is the infamous episode where Sonam and Deepika slammed Ranbir Kapoor repeatedly for his philandering ways. They also took potshots at Katrina, who was not only dating Ranbir at that time, but it was rumoured that Ranbir had allegedly cheated on Deepika with Katrina before they broke up.
While Sonam had made ageist remarks about Aishwarya being an “aunty” once before on the same couch, this time both of them smirked while talking about how Katrina is their “senior”.
6. Saif Ali Khan refused to accept that sexuality is a spectrum even though KJo tried hard to convince him otherwise
On the same episode where Kangana dropped her nepotism bomb, Saif insisted that two girls kissing each other is still okay, but two guys doing so makes it gay. He had no idea perhaps about how homophobic he sounded while KJo fought a losing battle trying to convince him that sexuality is more complex than that.
7. Ranveer said how he “went from child to boy” while watching Kareena Kapoor swim
On the same episode, where he offered to pinch Anushka’s bottom, Ranveer revealed how he would go to a local swimming club to watch Kareena swim, without her knowing it, of course. He also admitted how he had his sexual awakening because of this much like how Pandya boasted about his sexual conquests years later on the same couch.
What did Ranveer mean by “I went from child to boy while watching Kareena swim?” _ pic.twitter.com/muAx3jZujF
— babu bisleri (@PUNchayatiii) January 9, 2019
Some people pointed out how it’s a sign of times changing because many people who had laughed along to these statements then, did find them problematic now.
Perhaps, this is a sign of a better future for gender equality. Only time will tell now.