Javed Akhtar defends Zoya Akhtar's casting decision, claims there's no nepotism

'Success in the film industry is like an unbiased election'


Screenwriter, and lyricist Javed Akhtar, in a recent interaction at  Sahitya Aajtak 2023, discussed his daughter Zoya's film The Archies and nepotism. Akhtar, along with his daughter Zoya, actor Dot and singer Ankur Tiwari, discussed the movie. 

Talking about his daughter Zoya, he said, is taking a risk with her own money and that any industrialist's money or government funds aren't at stake. “She has all the right to take anybody under the sun, she shouldn’t be questioned. She is taking the risk, it is her project and she is backing it,” a Pinkvilla report reads.

He further said, “Nepotism film industry mein ho hi nahi sakta (Nepotism doesn't occur in the film industry).” Explaining his statement he said that success in the film industry is like an unbiased election and that stars are created by the audience. He also said that nepotism is likely in bureaucratic agencies, however, in the film industry, individuals take personal risks and don't depend on someone else. 

When asked how the Hindi-speaking audience will react to The Archies, which has an Anglo-Indian connection, he said, “Hindi-speaking audience don't like youngsters or what? Will the Hindi audience get angry if they see young people romancing? They won’t be. If the actors are sad, will the audience be happy seeing them? Hindi-speaking audiences are also humans. What is the problem in that?” 

The Archies is a musical and star kids Agastya Nanda, Suhana Khan and Khushi Kapoor are making their debut with the film. Based on the popular American comics of the same name, the musical also stars, Aditi 'Dot' Saigal, Vedang Raina, Mihir Ahuja and Yuvraj Menda. The movie will be released on December 7 on Netflix. Defending her casting choices Zoya Akhtar said, “If a producer's son says, 'I want to become a hero.' He's making a movie with his own money, not someone else's. He's taking the risk; if the movie fails, the producer will incur losses, but if it works, it's okay. So how is this nepotism? If this is the measure of nepotism, then all industrialists, businessmen, and wealthy people in the world are nepotistic; they hand over their entire business and property to their children.”

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