Well, I have to dip my toe back into the insanity of the Kangana/Hrithik situation, which has just boiled over again (now I am picturing a pot boiling over and my dipping my toe into it). And then, as a reward, I get to talk about SK Films restructuring, which is much more exciting.
I realized what the problem is with the Hrithik/Kangana thing. Usually in stories like this, you can pick the crazy version or the sane version. Either one is fine, either one could be true depending on the people involved and what the story was and so on. But that’s the choice we are used to, either deciding “well, I don’t believe her/him because it’s just too wild” or “I don’t believe her/him because it’s easy to say it was nothing and brush it off like that”. But in this case, they are both crazy versions!
(Requisite Krrish 3 song video that must always be included in this story)
She and Hrithik were having a secret affair for years and years, which he is denying and trying to cover up through manipulating her emails.
Reasons to believe it:
1.1. No smoke without fire. There were rumors all along that they were having an affair during filming, especially of Krrish 3.
2. Why would she make this up? This kind of story is much more likely to backfire on the female less powerful celebrity.
3. Actors do have affairs, not necessarily all of them, but obviously it is something that does happen.
Reasons not to believe it:
1.1. There is absolutely no evidence of an affair. Down to things like her story of a romantic trip to Paris, and Hrithik’s passport showing he never left the country. No photos of them together outside of work events, no stories of Hrithik’s car parked by her apartment, absolutely nothing.
2. On the other hand, even if it were true, why would you say it? The “madness” of taking the risk of talking publicly, and talking so much, makes it slightly harder to believe anything she says.
3. Actors have affairs, and they don’t talk about it. Why is she talking so much? And why does Hrithik feel the need to deny it if there was something?
Someone impersonating him sent messages to Kangana leading her own, she responded with a series of crazy emails that he did not respond to, this whole thing is her wild fantasy.
Reasons to believe him:
1.1. Again, no evidence of any kind outside of these emails that anything happened between them.
2. He has been more silent through out, trying to avoid the issue instead of inflame it.
3. He is now divorced from his wife, there is no super downside to admitting a past relationship, so why keep so firmly denying it?
Reasons not to believe him:
1.1. It is possible that a relationship could be confined primarily to emails, and hidden from the public view otherwise.
2. He did not say anything direct, but it does seem as though his camp spread rumors about Kangana which lead to her feeling the need to say something direct.
3. The divorce all along has been played as a mutual decision with no cheating involved. To admit an affair that happened long before the marriage was over would cause him problems.
And now here is the newest twist, which is really more of the same. Kangana in her interviews around the release of Simran continued to talk about this issue, more even than the film she was promoting (perhaps explaining why it did so terribly in theaters). In addition, the police report Hrithik filed, including copies of emails from Kangana, is now public and was acquired by reporters. The whole issue is everywhere again, and so Hrithik issued a full public statement through social media:
I choose to be on a path of creativity, productivity and constructive work. Anything that isn’t in alignment with that, I tend to ignore, sidestep and treat as a distraction.
I believe that ignorance, non reaction and staying on the path of dignity is the best way to discourage any persistent unwanted intrusions. But Just like a nagging health issue sometimes ignored can turn malignant, this situation for me has unfortunately turned malignant.
In case of the matter at hand , it seems the media has no intention of letting go.
I don’t see any grace in adding to this circus by testifying in defence of my character in a situation that I have no involvement in whatsoever.
I have been dragged into a dirty perverse mess without a choice in the matter. This is something that is not of my making.
The truth is, I have never met the lady in question one on one in my entire life. Yes, we have worked together, but there has been no meeting in private. Thats the truth
Please understand, I am not fighting against an allegation of an affair. Or being childish trying to uphold a ‘good guy” image. I am very aware of my faults, I am human.
I am in fact protecting myself from something far more serious, sensitive and destructive than that.
Sadly, very few from the media or the public seem to be interested in the truth. This has been a hard-learnt fact for me.
If the people are comfortable with a lie because it doesn’t threaten their model of the world where a girl is the victim and the man the aggressor then so be it. I am ok with that too.
Women have suffered centuries of abuse at the hands of men and it infuriates me how some men can be so brutal and they deserve the harshest punishment. But by that logic if it ordains that one man can’t be vulnerable and one woman can’t be a liar, so be it. I’m ok with that too.
An alleged 7-year long, passionate affair between two high profile celebrities with no trail left behind.
No evidence, no paparazzi pictures, no witnesses, not even a memento in possession like a selfie taken at the alleged engagement which is claimed to have happened in Paris in Jan 2014. Nothing that constitutes an exchange or any sort of proof of a romantic relationship.
Yet we want to believe the other party because the rhetoric is -why would a girl lie.
My passport details show no travel outside the country in Jan 2014, which is the date that this alleged engagement supposedly took place. In Paris.
The only so-called proof presented of this alleged “relationship”, was a photoshopped picture in the media. This was immediately exposed, the very next day by friends including my ex-wife.
These questions are not even asked, because we are taught to protect the woman, as we should. I myself have been brought up to think the same way, by my parents and the wonderful women in my life who have been my rock and support system. I’m deeply grateful to them. I will do my best to teach my children the same values of family and dignity. And yes, I will teach them to stand up for women. Always.
There are 3000 one sided mails which either I have sent to myself or the woman in question has sent to me. The Cyber-Crime Dept. can prove or disprove either story, in just a few days. Towards that purpose, I have surrendered all my devices including laptops / phones etc which are still lying with the cyber cell , but the other party has refused to do so. The investigation hasn’t been closed.
This is not, and I repeat, not a lovers spat. I humbly request people to stop labelling it as one and, for a second, try and see it for what it really is.
I have been harassed by this for 4 years and the well meaning and probably necessary social bias toward women has deemed me helpless in defending myself.
I am not angry, I have seldom allowed anger into my life. I have not had a single fight in my life, with a man or a woman. Even in my divorce, there was no fight. I, and those around me, have always chosen peace.
I am not here to accuse or judge anyone, but it’s time I defend the truth because when truth suffers the collective consciousness of society suffers. Civilization suffers. Closer to home, families suffer. Children suffer.
So, that’s a really good statement! Kudos to Hrithik/his PR team! What I like about it is that it elevates the conversation. It’s not about the petty details any more, it’s talking big picture that there is a social bias towards believing and defending women in these situations, a good social bias, but it is something that might be blinding folks to other concerns.
And it’s also taking it down to the simple level of “don’t say these things publicly because you don’t know who it hurts”. Which is the bottom line for me. I love celebrity gossip (who doesn’t?) but I don’t respect anyone, celebrity or otherwise, who stirs up public drama over personal issues. I can understand Kangana’s version, that she would feel hurt and humiliated and angry that a personal situation not of her making is affecting her career (since this started when supposedly Hrithik asked for her to be replaced in a film). But even if I believe her side completely, I still don’t like that she is making these statements in a public forum where they could hurt Hrithik’s ex-wife and children. If you are angry, deal with it privately, talk to the people in the industry, Hrithik himself, not the media. He hurt her career, she is hurting his family. It’s not the same thing.
You don’t have to agree with me, and you probably know more details than I do (I really haven’t been paying that much attention), but that’s how it looks to me.
Salman Khan Films Changes
Now, on to the really interesting news! Industrial restructuring!!!! Ages ago, I did a video on the future of the Khans and how all 3 of them have been preparing for their retirement for a while. Trying to structure the industry in a stable way moving forward. Aamir breaking into new markets, Shahrukh setting up a large production house, Salman mentoring new talent.
Well, now Salman is beginning to get really serious about his legacy as well. SK Films, which feels like it started as kind of a loose thing to help formalize his production deals and so on, is now getting serious. Dabangg 3, for instance, is still happening but they are looking for Prabhu Deva to direct, not Arbaaz. He is launching his brother-in-law Aayush, but in a film with a high profile director at the helm to help guarantee success. And he has fired the CEO of the company. As well as his personal business manager Reshma Shetty (bigger ramifications there, last I heard she was one of Karan Johar’s best friends and closest business advisers. Wonder if Karan and she feel out as well, or if this is a rift between Karan and Salman too?). Rumor has it that 2018 will see even more changes, reaching out to new directors or directors he hasn’t worked with in a while, just generally getting serious about his career and his business.
This either means that Salman really is getting serious about his career and business and planing for the future in a sustainable way, or it means that he is aware post-Tubelight that he needs to pretend he is planning for the future in a sustainable way because people are tired of his unplanned surging from one idea to the other. I am leaning towards the former, this is a real and serious shift in priorities. But I suppose it will depend on how things pan out, what his next few film announcements are and so on.
Sonam Kapoor-Active Feminist
Oh, and then Sonam is doing cool production stuff too! She just bought the film rights to a book series. The Aryavarta Chronicles. Which is yet another Amish Tripathi/Game of Thrones type series, this time based on the Mahabharata. But, what is super interesting to me, this one is written by a woman!
(Spoilers: It ends with a big battle)
Going back to our first story, Kangana is talking the talk of being a feminist. Arguing for equal credit in films, equal pay, not being ashamed to talk about her private life. But Sonam is walking the walk. She is more and more producing her own films, even if they are smaller budget and lower profile. And she is picking films with good central female characters, not “feminist” films with an overt message, but films with the covert message of “women can have desires and complications just like male heroes”.
And, Sonam is building up women. Buying a book series by a female novelist, casting a powerhouse all female group in Veere Di Wedding and heavily promoting the entire cast. And being very vocal that it is her sister Rhea who is the power behind her, the creative producer mind in the family, NOT her father Anil. Oh, and working around Kareena’s pregnancy and maternity leave in a matter-of-fact supportive way. That’s very feminist, giving a woman the right to have a baby in the way she chooses.