This is a nice way to come back from vacation, leaping right in to Shahrukh news. Also, Procrastinatrix! Your job! You can apply now!
Meer Foundation Goes More Public
The Meer Foundation has a new website! Shahrukh announced it like they didn’t have one before, but they did. It was just really boring and had no “contact us” links or anything. But it did technically exist. Now they have a really fancy website with good links and lots of information and a “Contact Us” part (that’s where Procrastinatrix can send in her resume).
The biggest new thing is a loooooooooooooooooong statement from Shahrukh about why he started the foundation. The previous website had no visible connection to Shahrukh at all, it was simply about the work of the foundation. Shahrukh is now owning his connection and explaining it. His explanation is nice, although still with the continual phrase of “we will empower women” which is a wee bit paternalistic. It’s a very good PR move though, it positions his whole person as caring about women and gender equality. And it gives a nice handy-dandy statement that folks can quote from when they want to explain his humanitarian work. And of course, like the best PR, it’s also the truth. Having watched Shahrukh’s career and life closely, he does seem to have a basic respect for women and belief in gender equality, even from little things like partnering with Juhi to start his business.
The biggest old thing is that they still do not want our money. Thank you very much, but they are not interested in receiving donations.
Oh, and the Meer Foundation is also not the end all-be all of Shahrukh’s charitable giving. I don’t mean the villages he’s adopted and the random donations for natural disasters, I mean organized consistant giving. He is big BIG with children’s cancer, paid for the children’s wing at Nanavati Hospital and then added on a special cancer section. Photos float up of him meeting with cancer kids off and on, and this has been going on at least since 2011 (so long before Meer Foundation was founded). I was expecting Meer to be a foundation for acid attack survivors and children with cancer, so it is a surprise that the website is only about the women, and explicitly says the foundation is only about women.
Good for you Shahrukh! There is value in promoting your work with acid attack victims, helping to change minds and prejudices that lead to the attacks, and hinder the women after the attacks. There isn’t really a hearts-and-minds value to talking about childhood cancers. It’s not like the world has to be convinced they are bad. Adding that to the website and the foundation would make Shahrukh look very good, at the cost of diluting the message of female empowerment.
Shahrukh and Aryan Do a Movie Together
Well, this is interesting! Shahrukh is dubbing for the Indian version of The Lion King live action (and now we all become immediately obsessed with getting our hands on that version). That’s a little interesting, mostly since he hasn’t done anything else in a long time. Ultimately though, this is 3 hours in a soundbooth dubbing for him, it’s not a big thing in his life like a real movie would be.
What’s far more interesting is that Aryan is dubbing for Simba. It’s cute, having the father and son together, and Shahrukh’s announcement tweet reminded us that they did the same thing years ago for The Incredibles. But Simba is a big role, it’s, like, the lead role! That’s a lot more than a few cute lines of dialogue for one of the kids in a family movie.
I could see this being an odd kind of one-off for Aryan, I assume they did the dubbing in LA anyway (that’s what they did for The Incredibles) so he just had to hop over to the studio a couple of days after classes and do the thing and forget about it. It’s cute, it’s a fun way to spend time with his Dad, and it doesn’t matter that much since it is just a voice over thing. But it would be a very odd one-off if it is never going to turn into anything else. These live action Disney movies are a big deal, and he’s got the lead role! Is it really just a fun thing to do with Dad?