Controversies from the entertainment world that shook 2018
The year 2018 was riddled with controversies from Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the Kardashian clan keeping her pregnancy secret for the entire course to 'Padmaavat' actor Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali getting death threats from a fringe group in India. In the age of social media and trolls, many of these gained massive traction, dividing fans over who’s right and what’s right -- to an extent that they qualify to become the biggest controversies of this year.
Here is a recap of some issues that rocked the year:
Ace Indian filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film ‘Padmaavat’ which was earlier named ‘Padmavati’ released on January 25 this year after being postponed on multiple occasions. The film which was expected to hit the theatres in 2017, can easily be called the ‘most controversial film of 2018’ with violence erupting all over the country over its release.
Several fringe groups not only disrupted law and order but also threatened its main cast including Deepika Padukone who played the eponymous role of Rajput queen. She was given death threats with many offering a bounty on her head. School buses and other public properties were attacked to threaten the makers, so as to dissuade them from releasing the film
The film also did not see a nationwide release as there was a no-show in four states namely, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa -- where the cinema hall owners refused to screen the film owing to fear of violence. The states had earlier banned the film which was later overturned by the Supreme Court, but they still did not comply with fearing violence.
Ironically, the film when it released, raked in a whopping Rs 525 crores worldwide at the box office -- making movie viewers confused as to what started the violence and on what premise.
Kanye West and Trump
US rapper Kanye West who now identifies himself as ‘Ye’ making an announcement some months back on the name change, was trolled mercilessly for his closeness to US President Donald Trump. It started when Kanye who is vocal about his support for Trump, delivered a pro-Trump speech on the premiere of the 44th season of `Saturday Night Live`.
West gave a lengthy speech about his support of Trump wearing a Make America Great Again (MAGA) cap. He claimed that he was "bullied" by SNL producers backstage into not wearing MAGA gear on stage."There's so many times I talked to a white person about this and they're like, `How can you like Trump, he's racist?` Well, if I was concerned about racism I would have moved out of America a long time ago," West said to the crowd.
"You`ve got a situation where you need to have a dialogue and not a diatribe...It's easy to make it seem like it`s so, so, so one-sided," West said in his speech.
Before the speech, he also defended the president with several tweets. One of them reads: "You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”
Several celebrities including Lana Del Rey criticised Kanye for his stance and wrote: “Trump becoming our president was a loss for the country but your support of him is a loss of the culture. I can only assume that you can relate to his personality on some levels” and added “delusions of grandeur, extreme issues with narcissism” as maybe somethings they (Kanye and Trump) share in her reply.
Kanye then took another position on the issue as he distanced himself from politics after saying that he was being “used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative!!!"
Indian film ‘Manmarziyaan’ starring Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal found itself embroiled in a controversy over a smoking scene in the film. A section of the Sikh community raised an objection to a scene in the film that has Abhishek Bachchan removing his turban and then smoking a cigarette.
The community had also raised an objection to scenes where Taapsee is seen smoking. Both Taapsee and Abhishek played Sikh characters in the film and those opposing the scenes had called for a total ban on the film.
The scenes regarding the characters smoking on screen were removed from the film as the makers said that they did not want to hurt the sentiments of any religious community.
Indian film ‘Kedarnath’ was caught in the middle of a debate as it saw a Muslim man romance a Hindu girl in the backdrop of a natural disaster that rocked Uttarakhand. Sushant Singh Rajput (playing a Muslim pitthoo) was shown romancing Sara Ali Khan (a Hindu pilgrim) who was on her way to Kedarnath -- a holy site for Hindus where the two fall in love.
The trailer of the film saw the two lock lips which didn’t go down too well with the priests at Kedarnath shrine who raised an objection on the film as they felt it promotes “love jihad” and hurts Hindu sentiments. “We will launch an agitation if the movie is not banned as we have been told that it hurts the Hindu religious sentiments by promoting ‘love jihad’,” said Vinod Shukla to a daily. Shukla is the chairman of Kedar Sabha, an organisation of the priests based in Kedarnath.
On the day of the film’s release, it was banned from screening in Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar districts. However, this wasn’t an official ban on the film as it did not come from the state government.
#MeToo in India
#MeToo came an year later in Bollywood but with a force. Several celebrities including Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Vikas Bahl, Nana Patekar and others were accused of sexual assault and some even rape.
Women took to their social media profiles to share their horrific stories that shocked the nation and started a much-needed dialogue on divide in the industry on the basis of sex. While the impact still needs to be seen, members of Bollywood surely stuck their ground and spoke about the movement and why this was needed.
Kylie Jenner's secret pregnancy
The youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner, managed to keep a secret throughout the time of her pregnancy as she switched off from every social media channel.
The youngest American billionaire managed to stay away from the public eye even though she made an empire based on it, as she wanted to enjoy this time of motherhood in private. She announced the same only after she delivered the baby on February 1 with an Instagram post apologising to her fans for not disclosing it earlier.
The reality star and Instagram influencer Kylie Jenner and partner rapper Travis Scott named their daughter, Stormi.
Nicki Minaj and Cardi B's feud
Female rappers Cardi B and Nicki Minaj had an ugly 2018 vis-a-vis one another as the two ended up fighting both online and offline. It started when Nicki questioned Cardi on her parenting skills which the latter didn’t take too well to. They then broke into an ugly brawl at the Harper’s Bazaar ICONS party in New York City. At the New York Fashion Week, the fight became violent as Cardi hurled a shoe at Minaj.
Minaj then took to her social media to address the issue and said: "The altercation was something so mortifying and so humiliating to go through in front of a bunch upper-echelon people who have their life together.”” In response, Cardi uploaded a 10-part Instagram video series and addressed the multiple aspects of the feud calling Minaj a liar. In the heat of the moment, she ended up flashing Minaj's phone number to her Instagram followers.
The two still don't see eye to eye and have led to a rift in the music industry with some siding with Cardi and others with Minaj.
The K-pop boy band have been on a high for the entire year, soaring Billboard charts with one single after another. They suffered a setback in November when a Japanese TV station announced that they cancelled a show with the South Korean band after a team member sported a t-shirt that had the words "Patriotism our history Liberation Korea" accompanied with a photo of a rising mushroom cloud.
It sparked anger as the picture on social media was interpreted as the team commemorating the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Some others believed it to be a Nazi uniform.
Amid news of their tour cancellation which was to kickstart on November 13 in Tokyo, the issue dulled after thousands of fans thronged the 55,000-seater Tokyo Dome as they believed the boy band had not done this intentionally.
Veere Di Wedding
Indian film ‘Veere Di Wedding’ that starred Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhasker, Shikha Talsania and Sumit Vyas saw itself getting embroiled in a major controversy as viewers found a scene in the film “derogatory” and “vulgar”.
A masturbation scene featuring Swara Bhasker saw social media trolls attack her. One user on Twitter wrote to Swara, "Hey @ReallySwara just watched #VeerDiWedding with my grandmother. We got embarrassed when the masturabation scene came on screen. as we came out of the theatre my grandmother said: "I'm Hindustan and I am ashamed of #VeerDiWedding (sic)." The tweet went viral and started a debate on what should be shown on the big screen.
Swara defended the film in its entirety and gave it back to the trolls with her mother, Ira also coming to her defence.