After ten years of being the brand ambassador for the International Indian Film Academy awards, Amitabh Bachchan says his services are no longer required by IIFA.
On Monday morning, Bachchan announced on Twitter, “IIFA says my services are not required...”
Organisers say that is not so. “Due to unexplainable reasons, after announcing the event as ‘brand ambassador’, Mr Bachchan couldn’t participate last year. Following this, we aborted the concept of a ‘brand ambassador’,” says Sabbas Joseph, the spokesperson.
It is speculated that the rift may have risen because IIFA was seen by the film industry as a Bachchan-family affair, and most big stars — including Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan —gave it a miss. However, some feel this is a bad move. “Mr Bachchan’s association gave IIFA gravitas — with the industry and NRIs. His association opened doors worldover,” says filmmaker Jagmohan Mundra.
Buzz has it that either Salman, who was named IIFA Charity Brand Ambassador last year, or actor Anil Kapoor may well become the new face of IIFA. “Anil is an international name, he is recognised as a Hollywood star and he can bring in foreign audiences and Sallu is definitely the biggest star at the moment... talks are on, so let’s see,” says a source close to IIFA.