Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who recently scored an International EMMY nomination for his performance in Sudhir Mishra's Serious Men, has said that more than nepotism, the film industry has a racism problem.
Nawaz was speaking about his co-star in the film, Indira Tiwari, whom he hopes will get another lead role after Serious Men. That, he said, will be the real victory.
He told Bollywood Hungama in Hindi, "Sudhir saab has immense knowledge about cinema, and his thought process is very practical. He cast her (Indira Tiwari) as the heroine, and I can guarantee you that there is so much racism in our industry, I will be very happy if she is cast as the lead again. Sudhir Mishra did it, but what about the head honchos in charge? More than nepotism, we have a racism problem."
He continued, "I fought against it for many years, and I hope that dark-skinned actresses are made heroines; it's very important. I'm not even talking about skin colour; there is a bias that exists in the industry which needs to end for better films to be made… I was rejected for many years only because I'm short and I look a certain way, although I can't complain now. But there are so many other great actors who fall prey to this kind of bias."
Nawaz, who broke onto the scene with his performance in Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur Part II, has become a poster child for Indian streaming, having appeared in projects such as Sacred Games and Raat Akeli Hai, in addition to Serious Men. Sacred Games was also nominated for an International EMMY.