The 'why, how and who' of Abhinav Singh Kashyap accusing Salman Khan's family of sabotaging his career
The director of 2010 hit Dabangg has accused Salman Khan and his brothers of bullying, gaslighting and actively sabotaging his career for the last 10 years. But is there more than what meets the eye? Read to find out.
Actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death has shaken Bollywood and its bigwigs like never before. If the conversation was centred around mental health and clinical depression on Sunday, by Monday it became about how the so-called "privilged group" of Bollywood bullies and corners raw talents and newcomers into becoming second-class citizens of the industry and deny them opportunities using their clout.
Social media has been abuzz with hashtags like #JusticeForSushantSinghRajput, #KaranJoharIsABully, #Nepotism #BoycottKaranJoharGang and now #SalmanKhan.
Now Dabangg director Abhinav Singh Kashyap has penned an explosive open letter accusing Salman Khan's family of bullying, exploitation, sustained gaslighting and sabotaging of his career.
The director took to Facebook and wrote, “The reason I moved out of making Dabangg 2 ten years ago is because Arbaaz Khan, in collusion with Sohail Khan and family, was trying to take control of my career by bullying me. Arbaaz Khan sabotaged my second project with Shree Ashtavinayak Films that I was signed up with by personally calling their head Mr. Raj Mehta and threatening him with dire consequences if they made a film with me. I had to return the signing money to Shree Ashtavinayak films and moved to Viacom Pictures. They did the same thing.”
“Only this time the sabotager was Sohail Khan and he intimidated the then Viacom CEO Vikram Malhotra. My project was sabotaged and I was made to return my signing fee of Rupees 7 Crores plus interest of Ninety odd lacs. It’s only then that Reliance Entertainment came to my rescue and we forged an enduring partnership for my film Besharam,” Abhinav Singh Kashyap added.
The director further mentioned, “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. The sustained gaslighting and bullying destroyed my mental health and that of my family and led to my divorce and breaking up of my family in 2017.”
This note, which Kashyap calls an open challenge, comes after the Sushant Singh Rajput killed himself by hanging on Sunday. Kashyap said that his death is just the tip of the iceberg just like the #metoo movement was, for a much bigger malaise in Bollywood.
In a follow-up post, the filmmaker wrote that a lot of people are showing concern about his safety, but he is not going to back off from his story. He even hinted how there are many stories of exploitation by the "Bandra cartel" do rounds of the hushed corridors of the industry.
"I will never commit suicide but should anything untoward happen to me.. By now the country knows who to blame... Treat this as my police statement," Kashyap stated.
Raising fingers on the talent management agencies who spot actors and introduce them to Bollywood celebrities promising a bright future in the film industry, Kashyap wrote, “The death of Sushant Singh Rajput brings under scanner the role YRF talent Management Agency might have played in pushing him towards his suicide but that is for the authorities to investigate. These people don’t make careers. They ruin your career and life. Having suffered personally for a decade, I can confidently say every Talent Manager and all Talent Management Agencies of Bollywood are a potential death Trap for Artists. They are all basically white collared Dalaals and everyone is involved. They all have an unspoken code of conduct they adhere to."
More than what meets the eye?
Incidentally, this open letter came just 9 hours after a Twitter gossip handle called @BollyInsider007 put up a tweet saying, "a run-down washed-up director, whose last film was a disaster, has been instigated to post a venomous letter on social media against a reigning superstar. Twist is that this superstar gave a break to this director in his brother's production. Film was a superhit."
A run-down washed-up director, whose last film was a disaster, has been instigated to post a venomous letter on social media against a reigning superstar.— Bollywood Insider (@BollyInsider007) June 15, 2020
Twist is that this superstar gave a break to this director in his brother's production. Film was a superhit.
In another tweet, the Bollywood Insider stated that the "the enemies of this superstar have lured this director with an offer of a film with one condition:- Issue a venomous letter against a superstar who gave him a break. Why, you ask? To pull down a giant."
Some are also calling this open letter as a marker for the "territory war" that is unfolding out of the rumblings of Sushant's suicide.
According to the rumour mill, the "instigation" behind this letter comes from Salman Khan's ex-manager Reshma Shetty, a powerful director producer who is always in the limelight and a leading superstar.
But irrespective of the rumours, Kashyap's letter does once again put the focus on how Salman Khan and his family have been repeatedly accused of sabotaging careers of artists they didn't allegedly prefer. It is often spoken about how the likes of Vivek Oberoi, Aishwarya Rai and even singer Arijit Singh had to bear the brunt of Khan's disapproval.
However, it would be naive to assume that any of the sides and "voices" are independent and free of self-interest in calling the so-called "Bollywood mafia" out. But reports of Bollywood prefering personal connections and "camps" over talent and hard work have been in abundance since forever.
Actor Raveena Tandon took to Twitter on Monday to share her experiences as she talked about “career destroying fake media stories” and “camps” in Bollywood.
In a series of tweets, Raveena wrote, “Mean girl gang of the industry.Camps do exist.Made fun of,bn removed from films by Heroes,their girlfriends,Journo chamchas&their career destroying fake media stories.Sometimes careers are destroyed.U struggle to keep afloat.fight backSome survive Some Dont.#oldwoundsrevisited.”
In another tweet, she wrote, “When you speak the truth,you are branded a liar, mad, psychotic. Chamcha journos write pages & pages destroying all the hard work that you might have done. Even though born in the industry, grateful for all it has given me, but dirty politics played by some can leave a sour taste.”
“mean girl”gang of the industry.Camps do exist.Made fun of,bn removed from films by Heroes,their girlfriends,Journo chamchas&their career destroying fake media stories.Sometimes careers are destroyed.U struggle to keep afloat.fight backSome survive Some Dont.#oldwoundsrevisited— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) June 15, 2020
Seems like Sushant's suicide has opened the pandora's box and this is only the begining to the massive rumblings on the sunset boulevard of Mumbai.