Actor Saif Ali Khan compounded his recent interview to Firstpost, in which he talked about "genetics and eugenics" in context of nepotism (in Bollywood), drew criticism from several quarters of media with an open letter published in DNA, Saif Ali Khan, 46, defended his choice of words rather vehemently saying: "I think it's extremely relevant in a conversation on nepotism, which means family favouritism, to talk about genetics and eugenics. Eugenics means well born and in a movie context, the genes (the DNA we're born with, not the blue trousers we wear) of, let's say Dharmendra's son or Amitabh Bachchan's son or for that matter, Sharmila Tagore's son come into play."
- Saif defended using the terms 'genetics, eugenics' in context of nepotism
- Saif Ali Khan says media is the 'true flagbearer of nepotism'
- He also said that nepotism cannot exist because it's a democracy
Somewhat bizarrely, he also compared the 'eugenics' of filmy dynasties to breeding race horses: "Because people are interested in what their children will be like and whether they will have the genes of their parents, in terms of their talent. If you need another example, then take race horses. We take a derby winner, mate him with the right mate and see if we can create another grand national winner. So, in that sense, this is the relationship between genetics and star kids," he added.
For the uninitiated, the debate of nepotism in Bollywood resurfaced after Karan Johar (son of late producer Yash Johar), Varun Dhawan (son of filmmaker David Dhawan) and Saif Ali Khan (son of actress Sharmila Tagore) chanted 'Nepotism Rocks' at a recent award show which everyone believed was aimed at actress Kangana Ranaut. The Internet was definitely not pleased with the 'three privileged gentlemen' attacking a woman, who wasn't present to defend herself. Later, Varun Dhawan apologized on Twitter while Karan Johar told NDTV that he 'regrets' his lack of judgment. Saif Ali Khan told India Today that he apologised to Kangana personally over phone (he re-iterated the fact in the open letter) and then told Firstpost, "It's easy to confuse nepotism with genetics. I think it's actually eugenics and genetics that's coming into play." - Aaaannd that's where Saif lost everyone.
Now, in the open letter, Saif said: "I'm sorry you found words like eugenics in a conversation about nepotism misplaced. Perhaps if you got your head out of the hemline of the actress of the month and read a book, your vocabulary might improve."
Apart from showing off his vocabulary, Saif Ali Khan said that though the 'star kids' get an easy entry in the entertainment industry but because it is a 'democracy,' nepotism cannot work. "Maybe I got a chance because of my mother, but that is more genetics than nepotism. It's a genetic investment that the producer was making. Compared to an outsider, maybe I had a better chance of meeting people, but Akshay (actor Akshay Kumar) is also an outsider. When people saw him, they gave him a chance rather than give me one because they are businessmen who can spot talent," Saif wrote.
Saif Ali Khan also wrote that nepotism exists because of public's interest in celebrities' children. "The real 'flagbearer of nepotism' (the term originally used by Kangana Ranaut for Karan Johar on his chat show Koffee With Karan), I'd say is the media. Look at how they treat Taimur, Shahid's daughter Misha or even Shah Rukh's son AbRam. They photograph them and hype them up to be the next big thing and the child has no choice."
Saif Ali Khan's daughter Sara is all set to make her Bollywood debut in Abhishek Kapoor's Kedarnath. PS - Abhishek Kapoor also launched Sara's co-star Sushant Singh Rajput (former television actor), who belongs to non-film background.
Meanwhile, Saif Ali Khan's upcoming projects are Akshat Verma's Kaalakaandi, Raja Krishna Menon's Chef and Gauravv K Chawla's Baazaar.
You can read Saif Ali Khan's open letter here.