The entertainment editor of DNA, Sarita Tanwar wrote quite an explosive piece on the paper about the murky undertakings of every major award function in Bollywood. Recently, many people have been quite upfront about how Bollywood award functions need to go through a major revamp if they ever want to be taken seriously. It started with Varun Dhawan and Akshay Kumar candidly telling Rajeev Masand during The Actor’s Round-table about how they’re asked to perform at a reduced rate at an event and they’ll be compensated with an award instead. Rishi Kapoor recently admitted how he paid for an award after his first movie, Bobby released. Rajeev then wrote an article on Firstpost which was on the 9 steps that need to be taken in order to make Bollywood award functions less tedious. And now, Sarita has written about the inner workings of every award night. Here are excerpts from her article.
An invite goes to an actor’s house, the manager makes a call to the publication house and makes it clear that the nominated star is busy shooting/ out of town/ has a prior commitment so he/she won’t be able to make it. Unless, of course, they are winning the award. In which case the star will make the effort to come for the award function, even if it means flying in from another city. A star’s confirmation for attending the award function comes only after the promise of one. And if the actor is not nominated for any award, a special category must be created — like Star Of The Year, Entertainer Of The Year, Most Special performance Of The Year, etc etc. Every actor and actress who attends an award function comes back home with an award.
The only actor who does go to award functions and comes back home without the trophy is Salman Khan. Earlier this month, he dropped into an awards function and left long before the Best Actor award was announced, even though he was nominated in the Best Actor category for Bajrangi Bhaijaan. A few years ago, he was performing at an award function when they announced his name as the winner for Best Actor. He showed zero interest in collecting the trophy, choosing to stay backstage in his van. It was up to his brother Arbaaz to accept it on his behalf.
A few years ago, an actress who delivered a smashing hit of a biopic, was nominated for Critics’ Choice Best Actress. She refused to enter the venue. She parked outside and called from her car and announced that she would only come in, if she was winning the award. Another actress, another award ceremony. This foreign import wasn’t even nominated for an award, she was performing and was in her van. When she was told that a seat was reserved for her in front of the stage, she said she would only sit in the audience, if they gave her an award. For the next one hour, she kept calling to check if they’d decided what she would win.
That’s not all. Even the stars called to present the awards have their list of demands. Sridevi refused to go up on a stage a couple of years ago because she felt she should be giving away a popular award to a mega star and not a Lifetime Achievement Award to a faded star. Rekha only wants to announce the Best Actor/Actress. I could go on… but it’s pointless.
The situation is not likely to change. It’s all a sham. So many award functions, so little credibility.
All in all, this one of the most explosive piece we’ve read today and Sarita Tanwar should be applauded for being so honest.
The article was originally published here.