It is no old news of how the different Indian film industries are ruled by the concept of beauty lies with fairness. On and off, nepotism is a common factor that is criticized. Another factor that does not let the actors get the right recognition they deserve is the times they are judged based on fairness, good looks, and other attractive physical features. Be it male or female, a lot of times, the actors are denied that respect based on all these superficial quotients. Although the film industries have progressed a lot over the years, there are still some of them who like to think this old school way to define glamour. These double standard games are often done by the reigning people of the industries and they seem to care a zero of all the rebukes they receive.
Recently, a channel on YouTube by the name Film Companion invited actor Rajkumar Rao and filmmaker Farah Khan to talk on various topics that do the regular rounds in the film industry. Topics like scandals, nepotism, and double standards were the few important highlights of the show. It is an interview-based show where they interact while asking critical questions to each other.
One such question took a serious turn in the show. Rajkumar Rao was asked to discuss his struggles of facing rejection due to his skin color. Rajkumar is comparatively a dark-skinned actor. To this he replied:
“I didn’t use Fair and Lovely. I was very proud of my skin colour. I am an actor. I am not here to sell my fairness. I used to laugh, actually. I found those people so ignorant. So regressive. They are still stuck in that era – hero matlab gora chitta, 6 foot.”
Further in the show, Rajkumar also unfolded one of his rejection stories where he was denied the role of a Parsi character as he did not look Parsi enough. At that time, Farah Khan who is a Parsi herself interrupted his thoughts and said:
“But you have to look like a Parsi, no?”
Rajkumar kept a professional body language and kept calm. He revealed how naseeruddin Shah had earlier played the role of a Parsi, wheareas he is not from the community.
Farah denied the whole conjecture and replied in quite a lame manner:
“He has a Parsi nose. He looks exactly Parsi and behaves Parsi also.”
Keeping his cool, Rajkumar threw his sarcasm at her by saying:
“But I can look Parsi na. Don’t you think I can play Parsi?”
This aggravated the situation when Farah got a bit agitated and replied with conviction :
“But sometimes it is also to do with how you look. If you are playing an African-American, you can’t play it.”
Rajkumar tried to further prove his point by bringing up the Afro-American character played by Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder. Farah Khan is an industry person from the very start and only understands making masala movies. So when Rajkumar tried to explain how looks do not matter if you are an actor, Farah became cynical and replied :
“Terko Nepali ka role denge toh?”
Take a look at this heated interview:
Rajkumar dropped the mic by explaining how Aamir Khan had played the role of a Nepali for an advertisement without the usual facial features. Farah was baffled how he had answers to everything. The case was closed by the actor as he exposed the true nature of double standards of Bollywood. Sadly, they still exist!