MUMBAI — Balaji Telefilms on Wednesday apologised for Kangana Ranaut’s spat with a PTI journalist during a promotional event, a statement welcomed by the Entertainment Journalists’ Guild of India that also firmed up its resolve to boycott the actor.
Ekta Kapoor’s banner, which is producing Ranaut’s next film JudgeMentall Hai Kya, did not name the actor but said it would like to apologise for the “untoward incident” at their event on Sunday.
The Guild, comprising senior entertainment journalists in Mumbai, said it appreciated Kapoor’s support but clarified the boycott on Ranaut would continue “across all media platforms”.
“The Entertainment Journalists Guild appreciates Ekta Kapoor’s support and standing for what is right through her official statement. However, we will continue the ban on Kangana Ranaut across all media platforms,” it said in what is a rare instance of the media uniting to boycott a Bollywood star.
As the issue gained prominence across social media, members of the Guild met Kapoor on Tuesday to demand a public apology from both the production house and Ranaut for her behaviour at the song launch of the film.
The apology came on Wednesday with Balaji Telefilms elaborating on the “unpleasant turn”.
“A lot is being reported about the debate that ensued between our film JudgeMentall Hai Kya actor and journalist Justin Rao, at the film’s song launch event on July 7, 2019. Unfortunately, the event took an unpleasant turn.
“While the people involved in it fairly held their own perspectives but because it happened at the event of our film, we, as the producers, would like to apologize and express regret for this untoward incident. We would like to maintain that our intention was not to disrespect or hurt anyone’s sentiments,” the statement read.
The production house also expressed the hope the media will not “let this one incident hamper the team effort that has gone behind making the film”.
On Tuesday, in its letter to Kapoor, the Guild said the boycott is a collective decision but would extend only to the actor and not affect the film or the rest of its cast.
The members said in the letter that Ranaut had lashed out at the journalist even before he could complete the question he was asking at the press conference on the pretext that he was running a “smear campaign” against her.
Ranaut also accused Rao of writing negatively about her film Manikarnika. The journalist denied the allegations and the actor’s claim that he personally messaged her and spent three hours in her vanity van.
He said he met the actor briefly for an interview and there were no personal messages.
In the 1970s, Amitabh Bachchan and the media shared an icy relationship which thawed only about a decade later. Bachchan was rarely written about through much of the years that saw his career soar to starry heights.
In recent years, photographers briefly shunned Salman Khan following a scuffle with his bodyguard. Shraddha Kapoor was also banned by photographers when she refused to pose for them.
Ranaut’s sister Rangoli Chandel said on Twitter that the actor will not apologise.
“I promise one thing that there will be no apology from Kangana,” she tweeted and described the journalists as anti-national.
Judgementall Hai Kya, which also features Rajkummar Rao, is scheduled to be released on July 26.