As the industry reels under the loss of actor Sushant Singh Rajput who died by suicide on 14 June at his Mumbai residence, there are fresh allegations of “bullying” against Bollywood superstar Salman Khan by film director Abhinav Kashyap.
The director, who made his Bollywood debut with the blockbuster Dabangg in 2010, in a Facebook post, has alleged that the Khan family “sabotaged” his film career.
In a detailed statement on Facebook, Abhinav appealed to the Maharashtra government to launch a detailed investigation in Rajput’s death because he alleged that a “bigger malaise” in Bollywood was behind his death. Comparing it to the #MeToo movement, he claimed that Rajput’s untimely demise is just the tip of the iceberg.
Kashyap claimed he opted out of the Dabangg sequel because, he writes, Salman’s brothers Arbaaz and Sohail Khan were “trying to take control of (his) career by bullying” him. The Khans allegedly sabotaged two of his independent projects — one with Viacom Pictures and the other with Shree Ashtavinayak Films.
Kashyap stated that the Khans sabotaged “the release of the film, and got their PROs to run a sustained negative smear campaign against me and my film (Ranbir Kapoor-starrer) Besharam before release… Over the next few years, all my projects and creative endeavours have been sabotaged, and I have been repeatedly threatened with life and rape threats given to/for the female members of my family,” he recalled.
“I know who my enemies are. Let it be known that they are Salim Khan, Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan, and Sohail Khan,” wrote Kashyap, also alleging that he received threats by text, which he attributes to the brothers.
Further in his statement, the director also traced a trend of talent managers and the way they function in the industry. He went on to allege the role Yash Raj Films’ talent management agency may have had in pushing Rajput to take his own life, adding “These people don’t make careers. They ruin your career and life.”
Read Kashyap’s statement here
Salim Khan’s reaction to the ‘bullying’ allegations
Veteran screenwriter Salim maintains he does not want to “waste time in reacting to what he (Kashyap) says.”
Talking to Bombay Times, Salim said, “Ji haan, humne hi sab kharab kiya hai na. Aap pehle jaake unki filmey dekhiye phir hum baat karte hai.” (Sure, we have destroyed his career. First, go and watch his films and then we should talk).”
Arbaaz Khan says he’s contemplating legal action against Abhinav
Reacting to Kashyap’s allegations, Arbaaz told Hindustan Times he last communicated with Kashyap “in 2012 before starting Dabangg 2”. “Don’t know where all this coming from. We are taking legal action,” said Arbaaz.
Anurag Kashyap’s statement
For the media calling me and people who want to ask , treat this as my statement. “More than two years ago , Abhinav had told me clearly to stay out of his business and it’s not my place to comment on anything he says or does.“ Thank You
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) June 16, 2020
Abhinav’s brother Anurag, director of acclaimed works such as the Gangs Of Wasseypur films, tweeted he would stay out of his brother’s business, as requested by him.
Meanwhile, the demise of Sushant has sparked the age-old conversations of nepotism and the difficulty of an outsider to rise in the industry. Celebrities like Shekhar Kapur, Gulshan Devaiah, Ranvir Shorey, and Anubhav Sinha have hinted at the role of the “Bollywood privilege club” in the actor’s death.
A collection of Suicide prevention helpline numbers are available here. Please reach out if you or anyone you know is in need of support. The All-India helpline number is: 022 2754 6669
Updated Date: Jun 17, 2020 15:35:33 IST
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