Karan Johar's 'nepotism rocks' defence: 'I believe that only talent rocks'
Karan, Saif and Varun together on stage at IIFA 2017. Photograph: (Twitter)
Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan and Saif Ali Khan have apologised for their "nepotism rocks" remark at the IIFA award ceremony in New York. The trio was panned on social media for taking a dig at Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut openly at the award ceremony.
Kangana Ranaut had called Karan Johar "flag bearer of nepotism" after she featured in the director's TV show 'Coffee with Karan'. Although Karan did not react to the remark on the show, later in an interview said Kangana should leave Bollywood if she had so many problems.
At the IIFA award ceremony, Saif Ali Khan addressed actor Varun Dhawan and said,"You are here because of your Papa!" To that Varun replied that "And you're here because of your Mummy."
Karan Johar joined the duo and said "I am here because of my Papa." Then all three of them shouted "Nepotism Rocks" together. Linking the nepotism remark with Karan's previous encounter with Kangana, actor Varun Dhawan said, "There was a song in your film Bole choodiyan , bole kangana.." Karan after this said "Kangana naa hi bole toh achha hai Kangana bahut bolti hai. (It’s better Kangana doesn’t say anything, she talks a lot).
The "nepotism rocks" remark created a huge social media storm. The three Bollywood biggies decided to apologise three days after the incident.
Actor Varun Dhawan posted his apology on Twitter, Karan Johar and Saif Ali Khan expressed their regret over the nepotism remark to various TV channels.
I express my apology and regret .. I am extremely sorry if I have offended or hurt anyone with that act..— Varun Dhawan (@Varun_dvn) July 18, 2017
Karan Johar told a TV channel: "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. What we said was meant to be a joke, which I think has been misplaced, misunderstood and I think it went wrong. I regret it."
While Saif Ali Khan defensively came out to say, "It was just a joke and nothing more to be read into. But now I feel had we given it more thought, we could’ve really finished this ongoing public discourse on nepotism more decisively.”