COURTING CONTROVERSY CAN BE A TRICKY BUSINESS
Over the past one week television channels, anchors and print media, are going overboard beaming the same news over and over again about Salman Khan and his so- called “derogatory reference to rape victims” while describing the physically taxing shoot of Sultan.
I am also shocked by the way the media chose to misuse the statement and blow it out of proportions on satellite channels. I am told that post the controversy the YRF team and Salman’s PR team is now analysing the aftermath and looking at his various media interactions and quotes with a magnifying glass to ensure that they are all politically correct but I doubt whether it would make a difference now. Ideally Salman should have ended the matter by offering a brief apology and clarifying that he did not mean it.
Having said that, I would like to emphasise that it is very important for stars to measure their words before making any public statements. I feel sorry when I see some of them blurting out things that they did not mean to and falling prey to the media in the marketing frenzy and overdrive of films. This had happened earlier too when some stars chose to make a passing reference to the issue of intolerance and suddenly found their films being targeted wrong by angry audiences. When stars speak out before the release of a film these days, the intention is of course to promote the film and make sure that it makes the desired impact at the box-office but a slip of tongue can at times backfire and completely shift the focus to an entirely different issue. More importantly, stars being public figures have to be doubly careful about what they say in the media, because it can directly play with their image and their perception in public life. They should learn to be more diplomatic and know that it also pays to be restrained at times.
In that respect, I truly admire the way films were publicised in the olden days, when star interviews had nothing to do with a film’s release and stars would not be seen attending every other do prior to a film’s release. In those days, stars made fewer appearances on public occasions. The interviews they gave were not make-believe and reflected their true personalities and they spoke from the bottom of their heart. They had a tremendous following and anything they endorsed made a difference but that is a bygone era now.