HT Brunch Game Show: Who deals with pushy fans best?

The actor who ignores them, the one who blocks them, or the third, who doesn’t let them into his DMs in the first place?
Rajit Kapur is a senior actor and director, whose face is instantly recognised and respected in Bollywood. He is known for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1996 filmThe Making of the Mahatma
Rajit Kapur is a senior actor and director, whose face is instantly recognised and respected in Bollywood. He is known for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1996 filmThe Making of the Mahatma
Published on Jul 04, 2021 09:11 AM IST
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By Karishma Kuenzang

Imaad Shah, 32, musician/actor/producer

Imaad has found extremes when it comes to fans’ love or hate
Imaad has found extremes when it comes to fans’ love or hate

Your reaction to people saying they love you?

It’s usually quite sweet and complimentary.  

When fans send sexually-inclined messages?

I usually ignore them. People swing between extremes. One person said they loved my work but when they looked me up they saw I was an ‘anti-national’. The next message was from someone who wanted sex with me. This is the nature of the Internet.

Tell us a weird fan episode.

Pre-Instagram, two people found my number and wanted to know where I lived. Suddenly I started receiving stuff, so I knew they had my address. The fear of my address getting out wasn’t how it would be now. Today, there are a lot more things to be concerned about.

A mantra you follow while posting?

Keep it as personal as possible, but with balance.

Your social media debut?

Facebook, forcibly signed on by a friend.

Mithila Palkar, 28, actor

Mithila doesn’t let negative comments stay on her page
Mithila doesn’t let negative comments stay on her page

Your reaction to people saying they love you?

I acknowledge it without drama.

When fans send sexually-inclined messages?

If it is something nasty, I block them.

Tell us a weird fan episode.

I don’t entertain nastiness. I have genuine followers and the sweetest thing is that they retaliate against negative comments even before I do. When I want to clarify certain things, I speak out.

A mantra you follow while posting?

Do what you need to do as long as you have your head on your shoulders. If I feel a certain post would invite trouble, I don’t post it. This is necessary for peace of mind.

Your social media debut?

Instagram and Facebook at age 22 or 23. I was 23 when I shot the cup song video and two videos with FilterCopy for YouTube.

Rohit Saraf, 24, actor

Rohit learnt how to ignore trolls through humour
Rohit learnt how to ignore trolls through humour

Your reaction to people saying they love you? 

I gracefully accept it as all artistes work to gain love.

When fans ask you out?

Every influencer sees fans fearlessly admitting their love on social media. Fans can write what they want, and if we don’t want that, our accounts should be private. If it gets creepy and borderline disgusting, then I block them.

Tell us a weird fan episode.

I shared a mental health post I related to and found funny, but I got DMs filled with abuses. I have been in therapy myself so I know what it can feel like. I ignore trolls. You even have the option of restricting your DMs. See, trolls want attention and if I validate them, they will do it with more people. 

A mantra you follow while posting?

If I feel my opinion may hurt people, I don’t voice it. And I stay true to myself.

Your social media debut? 

Orkut when I was nine because of FOMO.

And the winners are…Imaad, Mithila and Rohit

“Ignore, delete or laugh at negativity.”

“Silence is the best way to deal with trolls. The fan may get more aggressive if you reply. The only time you can’t ignore it is when it involves a family member,” says veteran actor Rajit Kapur. 20 years ago, he was unnerved by a female fan who appeared on every set. He stopped all communication with her.

“Rohit Saraf’s found his way of dealing with trolling — humour. Imaad Shah’s point of not posting intimate details on social media is true. Especially given the selfie world we live in where people just grab and click as if it’s their right,” Rajit says. “Fans don’t stop at sexual innuendos. Sending nudes is common.”

“We never had the reach young celebrities have today, so I agree with Mithila Palkar that one has to be socially responsible. Delete all the negative content. It’s an option for a reason,” he concludes.

Follow @kkuenzang on Instagram and Twitter

From HT Brunch, July 4, 2021

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Monday, October 18, 2021