Makers of SRK’s Raees might have to pay Rs 5 crore as penance for casting Pakistani actress
Producers who have signed Pakistani actors will have to pay Rs 5 crore as penance for the welfare of the army, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray said today.
In the wake of the Uri attacks, members of MNS’ Chitrapat Sena had criticized Johar and Shah Rukh Khan for casting Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan in their films. While Fawad has a cameo in ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, Mahira is the leading lady of ‘Raees’.
MNS workers also staged protests across the state and warned theaters against screening the film.
With less than a week left for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s release, Johar along with Mukesh Bhatt met MNS chief Raj Thackeray at the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ residence earlier in the day to find an amicable solution.
Following which, MNS called off its protest against the release of Johar’s upcoming directorial.
Post the meet, Bhatt, who is the president of Film and Television Producers Guild, announced that the film will release as scheduled.
“Karan Johar will display a slate of tribute for Uri martyrs before Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starts playing out on the screens. We have assured the CM that the producers guild and any filmmaker will not work with any Pakistani artist in the future,” said Bhatt after the meeting.
Thackeray also confirmed the development while talking to reporters.
“We have always protested against Pakistani artistes but Bollywood never understood earlier. Now they have realised. Terrorist attacks have always been happening. I told Mukesh Bhatt. Pakistan bans our films and channels as per whims and fancies. So why are we rolling the red carpet for Pakistani actors, ” said Raj Thackeray after the meeting.
“CM asked me about the solution. Karan Johar will display a slate of tribute for Uri martyrs before Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starts playing out on the screens. Producers guild should give us a written undertaking that no Pakistani actors will be cast in our films,” he added.
Thackeray also said that every producer who cast Pakistani actors in their films should donate Rs 5 crores to Army Welfare Fund.
“Whichever producer has taken Pakistani artist will have to do penance by paying Rs 5 crores,” said Thackeray.
While Thackeray did not explicitly mention if his message was meant for any other producer, it is speculated that he was hinting at Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming film ‘Raees’, which stars Pakistani actress Mahira Khan in a lead role.
The film is produced by Gauri Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar under their banners Red Chillies Entertainment and Excel Entertainment respectively.
Since Raees is slated for an early 2017 release, the makers have refrained from commenting on Thackeray’s new stance for now.
Meanwhile, Johar has already decided to donate an undisclosed amount to the Army Welfare Fund, which will be used to provide relief to the families of Uri martyrs.