Rajeev Masand: Award Quotas
Courtesy: Rajeev Masand at Open Magazine:
Award Quotas: All About Quid Pro Quo
You’d think the classy ones would be above pettiness, but no. Turns out one of Bollywood’s most cultured male stars, an actor of impeccable pedigree, made it very clear to the editorial team of a Bollywood film publication that there was no way he’d show up for their awards ceremony if he wasn’t nominated for an award.
Problem is, the actor had only been in one film last year, and not only was the film a pretentious and boring flop, but his own performance in it hadn’t exactly won him any raves. Still, the team decided they needed as many stars to attend the show as they possibly could, and apparently decided that giving this gentleman a nomination was a reasonable price to pay for his attendance.
As agreed, he made it to the list of nominees. Weeks later, just hours before the big awards show in fact, when representatives from the publication called the star to ensure he was going to turn up and on time, he sprung another unpleasant surprise. He informed them he wasn’t going to attend, as his girlfriend hadn’t been nominated.
The lady in question, a major star herself, had been in more than one hit film last year, but nothing that merited an award or so much as a nomination even. The organisers of the show had taken her attendance for granted, as she regularly accompanies her boyfriend to public events.
In the end, the actor didn’t show up. Neither did his girlfriend, naturally. The organisers felt like idiots. Not only because he hadn’t kept his end of the deal, but because they’d decided to give him the award too. He was the only significant A-lister in that category, and it made sense to get him up on stage. But by the time he informed them he wasn’t coming, it was too late to pick another winner. They had to settle for a no-show when his name was announced. That, and the criticism for giving an award to an actor whose performance clearly didn’t deserve one.