Bollywood’s array of movies, celebrities, and drama is more than just entertainment for its fans; it is an integral part of India’s culturally rich heritage. However, this industry has always been prone to controversies and scandals that have often affected its viewership and business. Let’s take a quick look at some of the biggest controversies that have rocked Bollywood over the years:
1) Sexual Harassment Accusations:
One of the most significant controversies that shook Bollywood was the #MeToo campaign, which witnessed many actresses and women from the industry come forward and accuse powerful men of harassment. It all began when actress Tanushree Dutta opened up about being sexually harassed on set in 2008. Following her allegations, many other women shared their stories of abuse, including prominent personalities like Alok Nath, Vikas Bahl, and Sajid Khan.
2) Banned Films:
Many Bollywood films have been banned due to their content, which is considered too controversial or offensive to Indian sentiments. For example, Padmavat, based on the life of the 14th-century queen Padmavati, was banned in several states due to objections from right-wing groups. Similarly, many films that depict communal violence or political issues have also been banned.
3) Censorship Issues:
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has been responsible for censorship in Indian cinema. However, the board’s decisions have been a point of contention for filmmakers who argue that they are often arbitrary and regressive. One such instance was the CBFC’s refusal to release the film Udta Punjab, which dealt with the issue of drug abuse in Punjab, causing an uproar among filmmakers.
Bollywood is infamous for its nepotism, with many accusing it of being a closed industry that favors star kids over outsiders. The issue came to a head in 2017 when actress Kangana Ranaut called out actor Hrithik Roshan and filmmaker Karan Johar for promoting nepotism in the industry.
5) Drug Controversies:
In recent years, the issue of drug abuse in Bollywood has surfaced, with several high-profile actors being arrested for consumption or distribution of drugs. The arrest of actress Rhea Chakraborty in the Sushant Singh Rajput case also highlighted the industry’s drug problem, leading to more significant scrutiny on the drug culture in Bollywood.
In conclusion, Bollywood’s controversies have been as much a part of its legacy as its movies and music. These controversies have shaped the industry, and while some may have been harmful to its growth, they have also increased public awareness of issues like misogyny, nepotism, drug abuse, and censorship. It is essential for the industry to recognize these issues and address them to preserve the legacy of India’s vibrant film culture.