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March 1, 2024

Disha Patani Credits Karan Johar for Discovering Her Talent Amid Nepotism Controversy

During the trailer launch event of Sidharth Malhotra’s action film Yodha, actress Disha Patani took a moment to acknowledge the role of producer Karan Johar in her career journey, amidst ongoing debates surrounding nepotism in Bollywood. Patani revealed that Johar was the one who first noticed her potential when she was just 18 years old and pursuing a career in modeling.

Speaking at the event, Patani expressed her gratitude towards Johar, stating, “If I am an actress today, it is also because of Karan Johar; because he was the one who actually spotted me when I was modelling. I was just 18. I feel like I wouldn’t have been here, if he hadn’t spotted me at that time. So when people say whatever (hinting at nepotism)… I am an outsider. So I feel like this is the opportunity that he gave me.”

Johar, visibly moved by Patani’s words, responded affectionately, saying ‘I love you’ and embracing her warmly. However, the heartfelt moment was playfully interrupted by Sidharth Malhotra, who humorously remarked, “Kya baat kar rahi ho Disha, main bhi (What are you saying Disha, me too),” referencing his own debut in Johar’s film Student Of The Year.

Addressing the ongoing nepotism debate, Karan Johar took a bold stance, asserting that his production house actively supports and promotes talent from outside the industry. He highlighted the diversity within the cast and crew of Yodha, emphasizing that the lead actors, including Patani and Raashii Khanna, are outsiders in the industry. Johar challenged critics, stating, “To everyone who accuses us of working only with insiders, Shashank Khaitan (filmmaker) is our brand ambassador of an outsider. So, the next time anyone trolls us, they should look at Yodha because the lead is also an outsider. So are Raashii and Disha.”

The discussion around nepotism in Bollywood gained traction after actor Kangana Ranaut accused Karan Johar of being the ‘flag-bearer of nepotism’ during an episode of Koffee With Karan. Since then, Johar has been under scrutiny for allegedly favoring star kids in his films, a claim he refutes by highlighting his collaborations with talent from diverse backgrounds.

In light of Disha Patani’s revelation and Karan Johar’s staunch defense against nepotism allegations, the conversation around inclusivity and opportunities for aspiring actors in Bollywood continues to evolve, reflecting the industry’s ongoing efforts towards greater diversity and representation.

Rajan Shukla

Rajan Shukla

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