Film boycotts have become commonplace. While the reasons for outrage may vary, there’s often a fear that hangs over filmmakers and actors, ahead of the release of a big banner movie, given the serious consequences a simple concept could have on the minds of the public, religious and political groups. While you can never truly decide the fate of a film in advance, it’s always a tragedy to see films suffer major (and often unnecessary) criticism. Here is a list of the best movies that sparked public outrage and ran the risk of being boycotted…
Laal Singh Chaddha
Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Laal Singh Chaddha is set to hit theaters on August 11, 2022. But for the past few days, the movie has been in the eye of the storm, receiving heaps of negativity and hate. Raison? Aamir Khan once said at an event in 2015 that he was alarmed by the crime rate in India, so much so that his ex-wife Kiran Rao apparently suggested they move to another country. .
Deepika Padukone starring Chhaappak was released on January 10, 2020. It was based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi. Prior to the release of her film, she visited Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to support students who suffered police brutality due to the then-ongoing CAA-NRC protests. People criticized this decision and accused her of doing a publicity stunt for the sake of her film.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s 2018 Padmaavat came under such public scrutiny that it had to be released under a different name. The problem was that the film depicted a Muslim ruler becoming intimate with a Hindu princess. Afterwards, the Karni Sena vandalized the public properties and film sets. A BJP leader even announced a hefty reward for whoever would be the bedhead for Bhansali, Padukone and Ranveer Singh.
For the same alleged anti-national statements made by Khan and Rao, the 2016 film was massively trolled. Effigies were made of the couple and burned in the squares of some towns across the country. The incidents happened in the exact same week as the film’s release.
Lipstick under my burka
In a 2016 filmmaker, Alankrita Srivastava showed women in a different light. But that didn’t sit well with religious groups and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The film was later released with an adult rating. People alleged that the film hurt their religious feelings and contained abusive words and audio pornography.
When Rajkumar Hirani’s first KP poster came out in 2014, the morality police went into overdrive. The poster showed a naked Khan holding a radio that covered his essentials. After the release, when people saw its religious theme, the boycott moved to phase 2. This time, Hindu leaders were protesting on the grounds that the directors allegedly denigrated Hindu culture through the film.
My name is khan
The massive outrage that erupted after the 2010s My name is khan the release was due to a statement made by Shah Rukh Khan. As a high-stakes holder in the Indian Premier League, SRK expressed disappointment that Pakistani players weren’t part of the game that year. Hindu leaders were clearly not happy with his advocacy and therefore called for a boycott.
Main image: Aamir Khan Productions