By Shreya Sharma Last Updated:
The year 2020 looked jinxed right from the start as there was a nationwide protest, uproar and constant debates on various national issues. We had entered the year with lots of drama already happening in, and little did we know, that there is a lot more to come. The year that was supposed to be the year of ambitious projects, new releases and major achievements turned out to be the most controversial year for Bollywood. It was not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lot more that had shaken the deep roots of Bollywood. The industry was divided like never before and it almost felt like the close-knit Bollywood fraternity is falling apart.
Well, 2020 was not only hard on you as it was the toughest test Bollywood has ever faced. As we approach towards year-end, we have got you a list of all the major controversies that had hit Bollywood like a storm, disturbing the balance and their close-knit bond.
When the year 2020 had begun, the nation was already divided in their opinion. While some were in support of Jawaharlal Nehru University students, others were against the fiasco going on in the campus. The protest was widespread as various cities of the nation had participated. When the biggies of Bollywood were quiet about the uproar, it was Deepika Padukone, who had attended the JNU campus to stand in support of the students, protesting against the violence. Deepika’s film, Chhapaak was slated to be released and after her bold step, while some had hailed her, others had called it a publicity stunt. In fact, some users had started the #BoycottChhapaak trend on social media.
Paatal Lok is one of the most appreciated web series of the year 2020, owing to its brilliant writing, and perfect character portrayal. However, the web show also had numerous controversies attached to it. BJP MLA, Nandkishor Gurjar had filed a complaint against Anushka Sharma, the producer of the show, for using his photo in Pataal Lok. The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee had expressed their concern about the way the Sikh characters were portrayed in the show, demanding strict action. Another controversy that had hit the show was when MP from Sikkim wrote to I&B Ministry against the sexist slur used in the show. A female police officer had verbally abused a Nepali character in the show, hurting the sentiments of the Gorkha community.
Kanika Kapoor was amongst the first celebrities to be tested positive for the novel virus that made the year 2020 a dreaded thought. It was speculated that Kanika had broken the rule of quarantine and had attended a large gathering in Lucknow, which was also attended by some of the most influential people of the country. It was said that she had ignored the symptoms and hence risked the lives of many people. The singer had received a lot of flak on her social media handle, leading her to limit the comments on her IG handle. It was later that Kanika had come out in open and had denied all the rumours.
It was on June 14, 2020, when one of the finest actors of Bollywood, Sushant Singh Rajput had left for the heavenly abode. He was found dead in his Mumbai apartment and this had led to a series of serious controversies in Bollywood. From debates about nepotism to debates about mental health, the Bollywood industry had faced a lot of flak. Many personal chapters of Sushant’s life had come into the public eye and many speculations were made. While the truth hasn’t come out yet, the reportage of the entire story had stunned the nation. It had become a hotbed serving TRPs for the news channels, and all the limits of ‘right journalism’ were crossed right on the first day.
While we had bid adieu to some of the most celebrated actors in the year 2020, Sushant’s death had shocked the nation deeply. Many actors had come forward to suggest that it was nepotism and favouritism that had made Sushant take such a drastic step. Kangana Ranaut and others had come forward, presenting their opinion that the late actor was sidelined, and reigniting the nepotism debate on social media. As a result, many biggies of B-town like, Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, and others had faced a lot of hatred on social media, making them limit their comment section, and their movies were trolled left, right and centre.
Just when the nation was amidst the nepotism debate and dealing with the sudden death of Sushant Singh Rajput, another controversy had popped up. It was singer, Sonu Nigam, who had said that nepotism and favouritism work in the music industry as well. He had accused Bhushan Kumar of T-series to be the mafia of the music industry, suggesting him not to mess with him. He had threatened Bhushan Kumar that he will expose him as he doesn’t give fair chances to the outsiders. This was enough to irk Bhushan Kumar’s wife, Divya Kumar, who had defended her husband saying that it was T-series only, who had given Sonu his first break.
Well, Sushant Singh Rajput’s death had also led to the exposure of the drug nexus in Bollywood. His girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty was taken into Narcotics Control Bureau's custody after it was reported that the actress used to procure drugs for Sushant. Reportedly, Rhea had mentioned a few names from Bollywood in the drugs case, which had stunned the nation. While NCB had suspected the drug link in the film industry, Kangana Ranaut had claimed that 98% of the fraternity consumes drugs. Deepika Padukone, Rakul Preet Singh, Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan and others were summoned on the basis of various reasons. And the last one to be summoned by the NCB in the case was Arjun Rampal.
Kangana Ranaut is sure a muhfat, who doesn’t fear anyone, but this year, the actress had picked way too many fights. After Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise, Kangana had brought the nepotism debate back in the limelight. From taking a jibe at Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor for nepotism to accusing Deepika Padukone of running a dhandha in the name of her mental health awareness organisation, Kangana did not leave anybody. From messing up with Taapsee Pannu, Swara Bhasker, Richa Chadha, to calling Rhea Chakraborty a “small-time gold digger”, Kangana did not even miss a chance to take a dig at celebrities during the drugs debate. The actress also got into a massive Twitter fight with Punjabi singer-actor, Diljit Dosanjh during the farmer’s protest. Diljit had fired on her with a series of tweets as she had addressed him as “Karan Johar ke paltu.” Well, Kangana had the most controversial year!
Just when the nepotism debate was heating, another heated debate had begun, when actors like Vidyut Jammwal and Kunal Kemmu were not invited to attend the digital launch of their movies. Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Dhawan and Akshay Kumar had announced that their respective films were to be released on Disney Plus Hotstar. The seven films to be released had also included Vidyut Jammwal's Khuda Hafiz and Kunal Kemmu’s Lootcase. The social media was abuzz with discrimination and had expressed their displeasure.
Yes, Kangana Ranaut had also locked horns with Maharashtra government. After Kangana's objectionable comments on political conditions in Mumbai, her office in Bandra was demolished by BMC in under a day's notice, when she was not even there! This had not gone down well with the public, and people had come on roads in support of Kangana. The actress had demanded security from the Central Government, citing threat to her life. And the government had given her Y+ security to ensure her safety during her Mumbai visit. For those who don't know, this had made Kangana Ranaut the only actor with the Y+ security. Soon after, Bombay High Court had ordered a stay on the demolition after Kangana Ranaut's lawyers had argued that the charges were flimsy. This whole facade had turned into an ugly political battle when Kangana and her leg fans had alleged that the Shiv Sena-led coalition government in Maharashtra had done it out of a political vendetta.
Well, the Bollywood movies might have lacked some major masala this year, but the controversial fights that this industry served, surely covered up for it. We still feel the void of losing the greatest of talents from the industry like Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Saroj Khan, Sushant Singh Rajput and others, and hope that no matter what may come, the industry sails its boat!