Karan Johar Apologises For Item Numbers

Karan Johar calls for the film industry to stop objectifying women and apologizes for any
item numbers his films previously carried –
He speaks out on Feminism, gender pay
parity, objectification and the Harvey
Weinstein case to SheThePeople.TV, India’s
biggest storytelling platform for women.
• Films set the fabric of our times
• Film industry should be conscious of what they show
on celluloid
• I apologise for item numbers, these are mistakes I will
never make
• As a film maker I have made those mistakes and I will
never do it again
• Women are the fulcrum of Dharma productions in all
• Harvey Weinstein case giving people policing and
• There have been grey areas in entertainment industry
and am glad some of this being covered in the media
• Harvey Weinstein case: Hopefully people (both
genders) will think twice before abusing power
• Harvey Weinstein case: Fear psychosis has spread and
I think that is very good
In an interview with India’s leading women’s platform
SheThePeople.TV, producer Karan Johar thrashed the film
industry for objectification of women and included an
underconditional apology for having item numbers in his
own films.
Karan Johar said to the SheThePeople that item numbers
needed to go. The objectification of women in cinema and
small screen is not acceptable. In an interview on Filmistani
by SheThePeople, Karan said, “The moment you put a
woman in the centre and a thousand men looking at her
lustingly, it’s setting the wrong example. As a film maker I
have made those mistakes and I will never do it again.”
He talked about why and how film played a big role in doing
away with gender stereotypes and that the industry finally is
taking notice of that. “Films set the fabric of our times. They
can be immensely impressionable. When you show a man
chasing a woman, it seems like it all so passionate in love but
it could amount to stalking. When you show a man being
abusive to a woman you think he is being angry but no, he is
being wrong. Things you show on celluloid sometimes set a
template. So we as film makers need to be very responsible.
Sometimes you don’t realise the things you write or project
but you don’t know that they will actually impact society,”
said the veteran producer of films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,
Yeh Zindagi Hai and others in an interview with
Films set the fabric of our times
When asked to identify and describe what feminism meant
to him, Karan said to India’s leading feminist voice,
SheThePeople, that it was his inherent value given he grew
up amidst a strong mother and powerful aunts.
The moment you put a woman in the centre and a
thousand men looking at her lustingly, it’s setting the
wrong example. As a film maker I have made those
mistakes and I will never do it again
“For for feminism is beyond what we know it is. It’s hard for
one word to encapsulate the power of a woman. Having the
been raised by a wonderful and progressive woman, my
mom and even my aunts – I think progressiveness was in my
dna. To me it’s my instinct to be a feminist…to have a
progressive stance on what woman can achieve in the world.
I am a total feminist.”
Portrayal of Women in Film
“I don’t know if I draw a distinction in my head. I just react
to human beings no matter what gender they are. I have met
women who have a certain more masculine energy about
them. I am telling a story. If the woman has a lot to do in the
film, then that’s the story. My sense of belief in equality is
such a part of my grain that I don’t know how to disassociate
from it,” his interview noted to SheThePeople.
My sense of belief in equality is such a part of my grain
that I don’t know how to disassociate from it.
On The Harvey Weinstein Case
Do you think it has given the entire industry a bad name?
“Not at all. It gives you policing and accountability and that
is a good thing. There are dark zones of the entertainment
industry where there are powerful people taking advantage
of their positions – sometimes sexually and sometimes
otherwise. I am glad this is being covered by the media.
Hopefully now people will think twice. Once you are in a
position of power, you think you own everything, including
their libidos. I don’t think that’s done. Anything that’s
mutual is great…if it’s amiable. If it doesn’t amount to any
tragic use of power. These incidents, the Harvey Weinstein
case and others that came out as a result of the Weinstein
explosion, I think it’s great. Conversation changes things.
Fear psychosis has spread and everyone is being more
careful. Not just in the film fraternity but fraternities across.”
Pay Gaps
Of top 15 actors in the world, 14 are men. What’s the reason
for this? Is it because women led movies aren’t big budget?
Is it because women are not getting enough chance to be
part of large scale movies? To the issue of pay parity in the
entertainment Karan said, “I think this conversation is very
integral and it’s bringing truths to the surface.” He went on
to talk about the math of box office openings. “It’s about a
trajectory that everyone conforms to, which is as a result of
the balance sheets they see. When a Shah Rukh Khan film
does an X amount, and opens to that number on a Friday,
you know that’s why he gets that kind of money. But I am
sure if a woman opened to that number, she would be totally
achieving that. But then you would argue you don’t give
women a chance. And that is yes a point of argument.
Everything big scale invariably is held by a man. But
everything is changing. Tomorrow is about content. Wonder
woman for example. It was in line with the boys, right up
there with all male super hero films. Yes it is going to all
Karan Johar’s interview to SheThePeople was a powerful
one highlighting the grey areas that the film industry tends
to ignore. In what was a brutally honest conversation, the
interview has put at the forefront what all producers and
directors should be thinking. Putting women equality at the
centre of all efforts is key and India is talking about this
much needed issue in a big way. Even at the recently
concluded GES 2017, women first was the theme. India has
seen the maximum female leadership in the political sphere
over the last 12 months with women holding key ministries.

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