The big nepotism debate: From Karan Johar to Ranbir Kapoor, who said what on the ongoing controversy

Karan Johar and Kangana Ranaut's war of words of nepotism and its existence in Bollywood has taken the industry aback and here is what celebs said on it

Nepotism is probably one of the most overused terms of recent past. When Kangana Ranaut accused Karan Johar of being the flagbearer of nepotism, she started a conversation about Bollywood biggies favoring their own. The ones in the industry have time and again defended nepotism and said it is human nature to help someone we love. When this nepotism debate started it seemed it would fade away after some time but after IIFA 2017, it added fuel to the fire.

Now that almost everyone has something or the other on this matter, we thought it would be best to compile all the statements. A look at these statements and you can decide for yourself what is your take on this. Have a look:

Kangana Ranaut:

In my biopic, if it is ever made, you (Karan Johar) will play this stereotypical Bollywood biggie who is very snooty and completely intolerant to outsiders and flag bearer of nepotism, the movie mafia.

Karan Johar:

She (Kangana) has the right to have an opinion. When she says ‘flag bearer of nepotism’ I just want to say, I’m glad she knows what it all means. I don’t think she’s understood the entirety of that statement. Because what is Nepotism? Am I working with my nephews, nieces, daughters, sons? And what about those 15 filmmakers who are not from the film industry who I have launched and put into movies? That no one will talk about.

Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan and Saif Ali Khan, IIFA 2017

IIFA 2017: Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan and Saif Ali Khan shout ‘nepotism rocks’, take jibe at Kangana Ranaut (Courtesy- IANS | Treated by Chetan Kamal

Post shouting nepotism rocks at IIFA 2017 and taking a jibe at Kangana, Karan said, “Of course I don’t believe that ‘nepotism rocks’. Of course, I believe that only talent rocks. If anything that rocks, it’s your talent, hard work and conviction. It’s the energy you bring to your job. I regret it.”

Also read: IIFA 2017: Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan and Saif Ali Khan shout ‘nepotism rocks’, take jibe at Kangana Ranaut

Varun Dhawan:

I express my apology and regret… I am extremely sorry if I have offended or hurt anyone with that act

Saif Ali Khan:

Kangana Ranaut, Saif Ali Khan, Rangoon

Kangana Ranaut and Saif Ali Khan in a still from Koffee With Karan

We are privileged also in terms of getting an opportunity to meet a producer, which in itself is an advantage. But beyond that, only your talent can sustain you.

Aamir Khan:

Aamir Khan in a still from Dangal. (Courtesy: YouTube grab)

Aamir Khan in a still from Dangal. (Courtesy: YouTube grab)

I think it’s a normal human tendency to try and help people who you love and care for. It doesn’t have to be someone who is part of your family, it could be someone you care for. It’s a very natural emotion.

Priyanka Chopra: 

All kinds exist. There is nothing wrong in being born into a family that has a legacy. Outsiders don’t have a foot-in-the-door access. Star kids have insurmountable pressure of living up to the family name. Every star has their individual journey.

Also read: These statements of Priyanka Chopra on nepotism, being kicked out of films and living like an athlete deserve a read

Alia Bhatt:

Alia Bhatt, Kathak

Alia Bhatt (Courtesy- IANS)

I think a star kid can get that first film due to nepotism. But to constantly get films just because you belong to a filmi family, is not possible. I don’t want to take any names, but there have been many examples of sons and daughters of lineage who have come and gone without achieving anything. What about that?

Swara Bhaskar:

Swara Bhaskar

Swara Bhaskar (Photo: PTI)

I think more than nepotistic, Bollywood operates on relationships. It’s not a sarkari organisation holding exams where you get through on the basis of merit. Of course it matters if you are a star child. But look at Shah Rukh Khan, he is the biggest star and he is an outsider. So is Deepika (Padukone), Priyanka Chopra and Kangana. Talent doesn’t remain hidden in the industry.

Sonam Kapoor:

Ranbir Kapoor:

Ranbir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor

Ranbir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor (Courtesy-IANS | Treated by Chetan Kamal)

It exists in the film industry, and I am a product of nepotism. I am here today because of my parents. My father got an opportunity because of his father. So, I believe if my children choose to be actors, I would like to give them a platform.

Also read: Kangana Ranaut talks about nepotism yet again and this time Karan Johar might agree with her

Arjun Kapoor:

In every profession, every father and mother want their children to be a part of it. If the child is intelligent, he or she gets educated into that profession, takes a degree and then work. They might work with their parents for a few years. We don’t have a degree in the film industry that makes us considered capable. Our true test is the box office result.

Kareena Kapoor Khan:

I don’t take Karan’s show very seriously, probably because Karan is my brother and it is something that it’s a fun show.

Ayushmann Khurrana:

Nepotism is overused word. Be it directors, producers or new actors as in every six months, a new actor gets launched.

Sushant Singh Rajput:

Sushant Singh Rajput New York holiday pics

Sushant Singh Rajput New York holiday pics

I think nepotism can co-exist with the idea of encouraging new talent from outside of the film industry. I, being an outsider, got the opportunity and luxury of choices to choose the film that I wanted to do. So I have no complaints. But having said that, if new talents won’t get a chance, and only the practice of nepotism continues, then the industry will collapse in some time.

Also read: Karan Johar writes about Kangana’s nepotism remark, Twitter wonders why he cannot get over it

Anushka Sharma:

Anushka Sharma IANS photo for

Anushka Sharna (Courtesy: IANS)

First of all, every actor has her own journey in Bollywood. Moreover, if you are good at your work, people will show interest to collaborate with you, irrespective of your background. Ranveer Singh, Parineeti Chopra and all of us were not from the film industry! So being an outsider, I never faced nepotism.

Vidya Balan:

Kangana feels that way. To each his own. Everyone has different experiences. I am no one to comment but my experiences are different.

Nimrat Kaur:

When you talk about nepotism, it is in each and every profession. For example, a lawyer’s son will have an easy way of being a lawyer just by the virtue of having grown up in that environment… and having access to that environment.

Also read: Beyond Suhana Khan and Jhanvi Kapoor, these 9 star kids will carry on Bollywood’s glorious legacy of nepotism

Taapsee Pannu:

Taapsee Pannu, IIFA 2017

Taapsee Pannu wins women of the year award at IIFA (Courtesy-IIFA)

I’m a proud outsider, nobody forced me to come into the industry. I was aware of the nepotism that exists in the industry and even then, I decided to be a part of it. I don’t like playing the victim card.

Manoj Bajpayee:

I’m very happy that because of Kangana, so many people have come to know and understand the meaning of nepotism. The roles I played and have been playing for twenty-three years, these are not roles that any star son or daughter would choose, so I never really faced any competition from them.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui:

Nawazzudin Siddiqui

Nawazzudin Siddiqui (Courtesy: Facebook/Whatsapp Videos)

As an actor, I have struggled in the industry. So, if my child wants to become an actor tomorrow, it’s only natural that I will help him. But that doesn’t mean ki woh mehnat na kare.

Also read: Other side of nepotism: Aadar Jain reveals why being a star kid is not easy

Mahesh Bhatt:

My career says that my doors will always be open for all. When an Anupam Kher walked in through my door at 28 and got Saaransh, it launched his unimaginably productive career. I have always done this kind of work. Even when Kangana came to us, she was a brilliant actor and today, she has much to be proud of.

Sonakshi Sinha:

Sonakshi Sinha, Nach Baliye 8

Sonakshi Sinha looks stunning (Courtesy-Varinder Chawla)

If a doctor’s child wants to become a doctor, nobody has an issue with it. It’s the same when a lawyer’s child becomes a lawyer, but if an actor’s child wants to become an actor, everyone has a problem with it. I don’t understand that.


For interesting entertainment and lifestyle videos from InUth, follow us on