Vivek Oberoi opens up about Salman Khan’s remarks and explains why the media is how it is today.
Salman Khan’s rape remark had created a storm in Bollywood and the industry stood divided. While some stood by the actor and maintained that his intention wasn’t wrong, the others slammed him for his ‘insensitive’ comment. Salman in an interview had compared his gruelling workout schedule for Sultan to that of a raped woman and that sparked an instant outrage on the social media with Twitterati slamming the superstar for his remark. From Kangana Ranaut to Anurag Kashyap, everyone lambasted Salman while a section stood by his side, defending him.
Vivek Oberoi and Salman have had a torrid past. For those who don’t know, Vivek and Salman were embroiled in a major showdown after Vivek started dating Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who was previously seeing Salman. Reportedly, Salman had threatened Vivek and the Company actor, then a newcomer, held a press conference blasting Salman’s attitude. Since then, Salman has ignored Vivek, despite the infamous apology that Vivek had rendered publicly while performing at an event.
We caught up with the actor before his film Great Grand Masti hit screens and asked him about his take on the several controversies that have marred Bollywood in recent times. Whether it’s Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan’s intolerance comment or Salman Khan’s rape remark, we questioned Vivek if he feels the celebrities are often targeted and misquoted. Or if it’s right on media’s end to publicise something like this? He opened up on the issue in general and made a very sensible statement.
Here’s what he said.
“I think probably media people have lot better perspective on it. You still are probably lot younger from when I started off as. So a lot of people who I chatted with 14 years ago are now editors and reached a certain level. When I interact with them, they sometimes feel embarrassed at what it’s become today. It’s more like a rat race. They sometimes tell me at the end of the day, anybody who’s a journalist has some degree of respect for the work which is why they chose that part. But it boils down to the commerce or the headline. It boils down to sensationalising things where ‘What can I take’ becomes important. Sometimes, when you don’t get something, people tend to make something out of something which actually isn’t there at all. People twist, attribute and go as far as they can push something to create enough noise and grab attention. It is that SMS generation where everybody wants everything quick, concise with instant gratification.
And it’s something we, as industries both, as actors as well as journalists need to kind of understand and go beyond, go past this. If this relationship and that trust has to survive. 14 years ago, I was never in a situation where I had three PR people standing when I’m talking to the journalists. I would invite them to my house, have coffee with them and chat. It would be so easy and casual. Everybody’s on the defensive right now. Everybody needs a layer of protection now. You keep attacking and you are milking the proverbial cow too much. At the end of the day, we are actors and if people keep doing that to actors, we will keep putting more barriers. There will be lesser access which is what politicians are doing now because they got hammered so badly. That’s going to affect both the industries. It’s a very important and large question. I don’t know how you are going to put this in perspective.”