Director Anurag Kashyap, who has spoken recently about the Made in Heaven controversy, said that he wasn’t trying to ‘lash out’ or ‘slam’ anybody, but was merely speaking up for his friend, filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan. An episode directed by Ghaywan for the show’s second season was criticised by writer Yashica Dutt, who alleged that it borrowed from her life and experiences without giving her due credit.
Ghaywan, along with the show’s three primary writers, Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar and Alankrita Shrivastava, put out a joint statement in which they cited the various inspirations for the episode’s caste-related themes. They said that Dutt’s story inspired portions of the episode, but didn’t form the basis of it. In the following days, Dutt herself was accused of discrediting another writer’s work. In an interview, Anurag had said that he finds it difficult to take her seriously anymore, and said that what began as a welcome discussion has turned toxic.
In a new interview with Film Companion, he spoke once again about the controversy, and his own recent comments. He said that his habit of speaking plainly can often create larger problems for himself and those around him. “I recently spoke about this controversy that was going on… It has become, ‘Anurag Kashyap slams’, ‘Anurag Kashyap lashes out’… Where am I lashing out? Where am I slamming? My entire concern is… I’ve been in this industry for 30 years. There are very few people with an unmatched integrity. One of them is Neeraj Ghaywan.” Ghaywan, himself a Dalit man, most famously directed the film Masaan, and later worked on the second season of Sacred Games along with Anurag Kashyap.
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He continued, “He’s one of the most beautiful men I’ve seen from the time he has come into the film industry. His integrity, his belief system… I’ve seen him when he’s scared, I’ve seen him come into his own, I’ve seen him find his voice, I’ve seen him find courage, I’ve seen him find confidence to represent the voice… He is loved, he has never had a misstep; I’ve seen him get cancelled in one day. When I talked to him, his voice was shivering.”
Anurag said that he was very upset by the whole thing. “Do you know how films are made? Do you know the process? Do you know how shows are made? He is just a director. Do some homework. Need for validation becomes so strong… Who will stand up for anyone? When a person like gets attacked and cancelled, I don’t feel like fighting at all.” But he said that he will fight for Ghaywan because he wants to love and treasure the man.
However, after years of standing up in support of others, Anurag said, he now wants others to stand up for him. “I have people, and people have me. But I want people to not have me for sometime. I want me to have people, because I’ve been there, and sometimes it’s tiring. This time, I’m at a stage where I need people to be there more,” he said. Anurag’s new film, Kennedy, was premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and will be released at a later date.
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