Actor Saif Ali Khan has said that he cannot endorse Kangana Ranaut's remarks about Karan Johar being the flag-bearer of nepotism, which she made during an appearance on Koffee with Karan. Saif was witness to the origins of a debate that continues to this day, and has only intensified in recent weeks.
He told The New Indian Express, "I have no idea what Kangana was saying on Koffee with Karan because I don't think like that. I mean if you come on to a show and if you've got an agenda prepared to take the host down, my mind doesn't work like that. I don't understand. So I was a little surprised obviously. But these issues have absolutely nothing to do with me and I tend to find myself in the middle of them. Maybe I should think sometimes before commenting."
He added, "As far as Karan is concerned, he has made himself a large symbol and because he has put on so many different hats. It seems like he's attracting a lot of flak for it. I'm sure it's not all deserved. The truth is always complicated. There's much more to it but unfortunately people aren't interested in that. They are just interested in symbols. He just happens to be a symbol for something at the moment that is not very popular. I hope the tide is over and better things that he is known for like a filmmaker and producer shines through."
Kangana has ramped up her attack on the Bollywood establishment in the wake of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death. Saif continued, "There is inequality in India that needs to be explored. Nepotism, favouritism and camps are different subjects. Even I have been a victim of nepotism but nobody speaks of that. I'm happy to see more people from film institutes come to the forefront."
Saif has often spoken about nepotism in the film industry. He was once involved in a controversy after he yelled 'nepotism rocks' at an awards show along with Karan Johar, perhaps in response to Kangana's original comments. He apologised for the incident.
In a recent interview to journalist Anupama Chopra, he said, "Being the kind of person I am, the films that I have done, there has also been as sense of privilege and lack of privilege, and people coming up the hard way and people coming up the easy way, that's always been the undercurrent, especially in an ensemble like this, with some of these NSD guys and film institute chaps."
He added, "They've come up purely through talent, while some of us, frankly, have had doors opened for us by privilege of our birth and the parents we've had."