We always knew Hollywood and Bollywood were poles apart when it came to film-making but on Monday, Meryl Streep reiterated that the difference is beyond merely aesthetics. She didn’t hesitate to take a stand against Trump at the 74th Golden Globes, where she was honoured with the Cecil B DeMille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.”
The actress gave a powerful speech, stating: “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence...” She attacked President-elect Donald Trump without actually naming him. Streep’s speech moved her colleagues in the film industry, and every single one of us, who watched her spellbound. But was it enough to awaken our Bollywoodwallas from la la land?
Bollywood, copying Hollywood films or having a desi actress work abroad are not laurels you can afford to rest on. It’s time you grew a spine. Take your cues from Meryl Streep.
Award shows back home are high on entertainment and low on credibility. (Imagine, Rekha winning her 11th lifetime award!) We’re not the only ones saying it; stars believe it too! Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn don’t attend any award shows because they believe they are rigged. Aamir reiterated his views in this season’s Koffee with Karan. Rishi Kapoor admitted that he bought a Filmfare award for Bobby.
Look at the number of stars who attend these award nights. Some A-listers attend because they might just win an award. Most of them are obligated to perform or sit with their ‘camp’ to cheer for their ‘camp’ members. Celebs aren’t present because they believe in the sanctity of the function; they are there to make themselves relevant.
In order to preserve their image, Indian celebs don’t speak out about things they truly believe in or use a public platform to voice their opinions like Meryl Streep did.
If Meryl Streep could speak against the President-elect and discuss bullying, why couldn’t Bollywood speak out against the goonda raj of Raj Thackeray? What stopped Anushka Sharma, the actress who has been very vocal about her views on a number of things, from thanking co-star Fawad Khan when she accepted the best actress award at Stardust? The Sultan actress thanked Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai but conveniently/sheepishly left out Fawad. Why? Because he’s from a country which should not be named.
Once bitten, twice shy, even Shah Rukh Khan couldn’t help but bow his head and agree to all Raj Thackeray’s terms and conditions for Raees.
Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan did have their Meryl Streep moments but unfortunately, the curtains were drawn before they could receive applause. Meryl Streep spoke not just for herself, but for her community. She asked Hollywood to come together in the face of a greater threat. And that’s exactly the problem here – Indian celebs have failed to come together as a community.
We hope Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone bag more than just films in Hollywood.