Saif Ali Khan says he has been a victim of nepotism: ‘Somebody’s dad has rung up and said don’t take him’
Actor Saif Ali Khan, son of cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and actor Sharmila Tagore, has claimed to have been a victim of nepotism in the film industry. Saif has spoken often about the issue, and has made several recent statements on the matter after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
He said in a recent interview to the New Indian Express, “Nepotism in its purest form is something that even I have been a victim of. But nobody’s interested in that. Businesses work like that. I am not going to take names but somebody’s dad has rung up and said don’t take him, take him in the movie. All that happens and it has happened to me. There is inequality in India that needs to be explored. Nepotism, favouritism and camps are different subjects.” He added, “More than ever I am really happy to see so many kids from institutes coming to the foreground. People like Nawazuddin and Pankaj Tripathi, I have seen them become household names.”
In a recent interview to journalist Anupama Chopra, Saif had once against breached the subject, and said, “Being the kind of person I am, the films that I have done, there has also been as sense of privilege and lack of privilege, and people coming up the hard way and people coming up the easy way, that’s always been the undercurrent, especially in an ensemble like this, with some of these NSD guys and film institute chaps.”
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He added, “They’ve come up purely through talent, while some of us, frankly, have had doors opened for us by privilege of our birth and the parents we’ve had.”
Saif found himself at the centre of a controversy in 2017 when he declared ‘nepotism rocks’ at an awards show. He was forced to write an open letter explaining his words. “It’s not something that I wrote or something I believe in. It was a joke on ourselves, between Varun (Dhawan), Karan (Johar) and me. It was not supposed to be a big deal, but I realised at some point, that it might have offended Kangana (Ranaut). I called her and apologised personally. That should be the end of it. Everybody needs to take a chill pill and back off,” he wrote.
Shortly afterwards, Saif further clarified his statements to PTI, and said, “Nepotism is a horrible thing. I am totally against nepotism. I have benefited from it for sure. Definitely, we have more opportunities than people who are not connected to movies. But how long can one survives depends on talent and hard work. There are so many people like Shah Rukh Khan who have survived without any conjunctions. For one star kid succeeding there are fifty star kids which are failing.”
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