When Kangana Ranaut called him “the flag bearer of nepotism” in the Hindi film industry, Karan Johar didn’t take it very kindly.
Alluding to the now infamous Koffee With Karan show where those now famous words were uttered , Karan told film critic Anupama Chopra during a (later) Q and A session at a London university:
“When she says ‘flag-bearer of nepotism’, I just want to say her, I am glad she knows what it all means. I don’t think she has understood the entire meaning of the term.”
Apart from not knowing the meaning of nepotism, Karan also accused Kangana of playing the “woman card, and the victim card”.
His remarks earned him and Kangana several brownie points, especially when she responded with .
But an old interview clip of Karan’s — with, once again, Anupama Chopra — from 2014 shows that whether or not Kangana understands the meaning of “nepotism”, Karan does understand it. And what’s more, he believes that he’s been guilty of it as well.
While we take a moment to appreciate that, here’s a look at those relevant portions from his 2014 interview:
“[Referring to casting Alia Bhatt in Student of The Year] I picked up a chubby girl… I saw something… And I can’t lie. Maybe the fact that she is Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter also excited me. Right now, I’d like to say no, but maybe back then, it was a really strong sub-layer [sic]. And that is nepotism and we’re guilty. I’m guilty.
Would I have cast Varun Dhawan if he was not David Dhawan’s son? Because he is David Dhawan’s son, he was on my sets as an AD, and that’s why I spent enough time with him and got to know that he can be a movie star.
There are too many factors in this country that contribute to movie stardom, true talent is the least of them.”
[Anupama and Karan’s fellow guests on the show, Deepika Padukone and Tisca Chopra say at this point: “That’s so sad.” Karan then continues:]
“It is truly tragic.
Would I have been a filmmaker? I’m a producer’s son. I had no experience. I was an assistant on one film. My father had the platform to give me and that’s why I’m a filmmaker. And so if I go through any struggle in my career, I deserve it.”
From 2014, when he had a perfectly lucid understanding of what comprises nepotism to 2017, when he did an about-turn on the subject, Karan’s beliefs sure have undergone quite the sea-change.