Merit or Nepotism? Alia Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan Might Get Voting Rights At the Oscars


Merit or Nepotism? Alia Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan Might Get Voting Rights At the Oscars

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

Bollywood stars Hrithik Roshan and Alia Bhatt are among the 819 new artists and executives invited to join Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. If they accept the invitation, they will have voting rights at the Oscars scheduled to be held on April 25, 2021.

Other prominent Indian names to receive invitations are casting director Nandini Shrikent, documentary filmmakers Nishtha Jain, Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya, costume designer Neeta Lulla, visual effects supervisors Vishal Anand and Sandeep Kamal.

In a statement, The Academy said, “The 2020 class is 45% women, 36% underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 49% international from 68 countries.” The Oscars have often been dubbed “white” for failing to recognise talents of colour.

Hrithik Roshan was offered the invitation based on his performances in Super 30 and Jodhaa Akbar, whereas Alia Bhatt for Gully Boy and Raazi.

Many prominent people from the industry lauded the invitation by The Academy and said it was well deserved for both Hrithik and Alia.

Even other professionals from India’s film industry who received the invitation, were cheered.

Bollywood filmmaker Hansal Mehta wasn’t too pleased and dubbed it “Nepotistic Academy”.

Like every issue related to Bollywood on social media, this one too triggered a debate on nepotism. Some said that nepotism played a key role and many brilliant movies and actors have been ignored but preference has been given to Alia and Hrithik for their connections in the industry.

Recently in a video, Kangana Ranaut had slammed Gully Boy, calling it a “wahiyaad” film that didn’t deserve that many awards. The movie was also India’s official entry to the 92nd Academy Awards.

The other side was also quick to respond, claiming that it was laughable to suggest that Alia and Hrithik have enough power to influence decisions made by The Academy. Fans claimed that it is pure talent and merit that has been the factor for which these two stars have received the prestigious invites.

The nepotism debate is not going to die down anytime soon. In fact, there has been renewed outrage after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. And while the problem is real, it’s not something that’s going to be weeded out easily.