Zoya Akhtar says the nepotism debate is ‘banal’ | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Zoya Akhtar says the nepotism debate is ‘banal’: Who are you to tell me what to do with my money?

Dec 09, 2023 08:03 PM IST

Zoya Akhtar shared her take on the nepotism debate and said she has every right to follow whatever she wants to do as a filmmaker.

Zoya Akhtar's The Archies, which released on Netflix, marks the debut of seven fresh faces in the industry. Among them are Shah Rukh Khan's daughter Suhana Khan, late Sridevi's younger daughter Khushi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan's grandson Agastya Nanda. In an interview with The Juggernaut, director Zoya Akhtar defended the entire discourse on nepotism surrounding the December 7 release. She said it is 'banal', adding that no one can tell her what to do with her own money at the end of the day. (Also read: The Archies: Why this nepo-kid fest will disappoint vintage Archie Comics lovers)

Zoya Akhtar's The Archies is out on Netflix. (HT Photo)
Zoya Akhtar's The Archies is out on Netflix. (HT Photo)

Zoya on the nepotism debate

During the recent conversation, when Zoya Akhtar was asked about the nepotism debate, she said: "I think the debate is about haves and have-nots. It is about privilege, access, and social capital. I completely understand having anger or frustration at the fact that you do not have the access some people get so easily. That is a conversation to be had. Everyone needs to have the same kind of education, job opportunities, et al. But when you turn around and say Suhana Khan shouldn’t be in my film, it’s banal because it’s not going to change your life whether she’s in my film or not. You have to talk about what is going to change your life.”

‘I have every right too follow whatever I want to do’

She also added: “My dad (Javed Akhtar) came from nowhere and made a life for himself. I was born and bred in the industry, and I have every right to follow whatever I want to do. As part of his network and what he made, I know those people. What am I going to do, disown my dad because I want to be a filmmaker? Are you saying I can’t choose my profession? It makes no sense. The actual problem is something else, and this is just like beating a dead horse… it’s not going to do anything. If every kid born into the film industry never worked in film, it’s still not going to change your life… Nepotism is when I take public money or someone else’s money and favour my friends and family. Nepotism cannot be when I take my own money! Who are you to tell me what to do with my money? It’s my money! If tomorrow I want to spend my money on my niece, it’s my problem! At the end of the day, if a director or an actor gets another job, it is solely on the audience. They decide if they want to see them or not.”

Apart from Suhana, Agastya and Khushi, The Archies also stars Vedang Raina, Dot, Mihir Ahuja and Yuvraj Menda. It is a teen-musical film based on the American comic book series of the same name.

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