It has been a rough week for the film fraternity.
In the wake of Sushant Singh Rajput's untimely demise, members of Bollywood have come out in numbers to mourn the departed actor. Talks about mental health have entered conversations. Singh's death has also amplified the noise around the nepotism that exists in the country and how "star kids" are favoured over "outsiders".
DevD star Abhay Deol, on Friday, joined the bandwagon of a long list of artists who have criticised the industry for the evils that exist within and why a particular incident made him boycott "familyfare" award functions.
"'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara', released in 2011. Need to chant this title to myself everyday nowadays! Also a great watch when anxious or stressed," Deol wrote in his post.
Without mincing any words, Deol dropped one truth bomb after another.
Speaking of Zoya Akhtar's critically acclaimed film that starred Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, and Kalki Koechlin alongside, a movie that also earned him his first nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor, the 44-year-old actor expressed his disappointment with the nomination he was put under.
"I would like to mention that almost all the award functions demoted me and Farhan from main leads, and nominated us as 'supporting actors'. Hrithik and Katrina were nominated as 'actors in a leading role'," Deol, who played the lead role of Arjun, wrote.
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“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, released in 2011. Need to chant this title to myself everyday nowadays! Also a great watch when anxious or stressed. I would like to mention that almost all the award functions demoted me and Farhan from main leads, and nominated us as “supporting actors”. Hrithik and Katrina were nominated as “actors in a leading role”. So by the industry’s own logic, this was a film about a man and a woman falling in love, with the man supported by his friends for whatever decisions he takes. There are many covert and overt ways in which people in the industry lobby against you. In this case it was shamelessly overt. I of course boycotted the awards but Farhan was ok with it. #familyfareawards Very creative artwork @kalakkii
"So by the industry’s own logic, this was a film about a man and a woman falling in love, with the man supported by his friends for whatever decisions he takes," he quipped about ZNMD, a story about three childhood friends who meet up and set off on a road trip.
Saying how Farhan Akhtar, who was also in the lead, was okay with being reduced to a supporting actor, Deol concluded: "There are many covert and overt ways in which people in the industry lobby against you. In this case it was shamelessly overt. I of course boycotted the awards but Farhan was ok with it."
Fans and his followers appreciated him for standing up against the bullies in the industry. Ironically, while the dimpled-cheek actor did make some valid and compelling points, it's worth reminding that he too comes from an influential Bollywood background and perhaps landed his dream debut in Imtiaz Ali's 2005 Socha Na Tha given his golden lineage -- Dharmendra being his uncle, Hema Malini aunt, and Sunny and Bobby Deol, his cousins.
Later on, he carved his own niche and appeared in several critically acclaimed cinema. Many, on social media, pointed out the same.
Isn’t he dharmendra’s nephew? Now you all decide who was bigger Dharmendra or Rakesh Roshan? And this film only got awards for best film and director ...not acting ..kuch bhi
— Anasuya 💗 (@basuanasuya) June 19, 2020
First world problems...
Roshan >> Deol >> ... >> boy from Patna
I understand what he is trying to say, love him as an actor and seems to be a gem of a person.
But it is difficult for him and FA to disassociate from benefits of family name.
— Rohit Gajare (@rohitbg1512) June 19, 2020
However, Deol also happens to be in the minority of insiders who do not shy away from speaking their mind.
Three years ago, Deol ruffled some feathers by calling out Bollywood's obsession with light tone skin and fairness creams.
Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Vidya Balan, John Abraham faced his brunt for featuring in ad campaigns that sold fairness creams and other such products. He specifically chose campaigns that, subtly or blatantly, tried to sell the idea that being dark was not beautiful.
Recently, Deol called out "woke" Indians who were so interested in fighting systemic racism in the US, that they perhaps forgot to look into their own backyard.
The actor tweeted an image of a piece of paper with the hashtags #migrantlivesmatter, #minoritylivesmatter, #poorlivesmatter written on it.
"America has exported violence to the world... it was but inevitable that it would come back karmically," Deol wrote.