Is Shanaya Kapoor signing ads a sign of blatant nepotism?

When Siddhant Chaturvedi said to Ananya Panday: “Jahaan hamare sapne poore hote hain, wahi inka Wrestle shuru hota hai”During the round table of actors moderated by the film critic Rajeev Masand, we heard it loud and clear.

Today, when we look at Shanaya Kapoor already in commercials before even appearing in a movie, we understand exactly what he was saying. We know the devil is working hard, but it looks like nepotism in Bollywood is working harder.

Shanaya, daughter of Sanjay and Maheep Kapoor, has always been in the limelight because of her vaporous family. Signing a movie was also something that we took as a given career path for her. However, such blatant favoritism is slowly becoming synonymous with the industry.

Credit: Instagram / ShanayaKapoor02

Sign on the dotted line

For the previous batch of Gen Z newbies, the ad offers didn’t start arriving until after their first films were released. For Shanaya, this starting point seems non-existent. The 22-year-old has previously worked in commercials for The Misfit Ways, Naturali and the Ritu Kumar label.

All of these campaigns are supported by big production companies and big budget shoots. What exactly is Shanaya’s attraction here? Shouldn’t producers support artists who have achieved some success? Brutal nepotism is unsavory at best.

Credit: Instagram / ShanayaKapoor02

Meanwhile, news of Shanaya signing Karan Johar’s upcoming film has already been released. Karan, who has previously been accused of promoting nepotism in the industry, has repeatedly spoken out about his right to choose his own cast.

Film privileges, ek lambi kahani

Being a famous kid has its own advantages and disadvantages. Being followed by paparazzi can be traumatic for kids growing up in the limelight, but it also provides a platform and privileges that several performers constantly argue over. Likewise, signing a movie can be a family affair, but it only diminishes the years of struggle some actors face, even for a two-minute feature film.

Credit: Instagram / ShanayaKapoor02

In Shanaya’s case, the situation becomes more problematic than factual nepotism. Her entry into Bollywood might have been guaranteed since she was six, but we were waiting for a release to give her that much needed audience validation. However, these ads only normalize nepotism and allow the narrative that famous kids can join the industry when they feel like it… regardless of any real talent, but simply because of being a famous kid.

A similar outrage was seen when Suhana Khan was allowed to grace the cover of Vogue India in 2018. With no visible accomplishments under her belt, the 18-year-old was splashed onto the cover page, simply because being Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter gave her access to it. The publication received a lot of criticism for its contribution to this standardization.

Credit: Instagram / VogueIndia

It’s time we started to hold Bollywood accountable for the type of content they produce and the artists they choose to support. It is time we spoke out against the blatant use of privilege.

What do you think of Shanaya’s ads? Let us know in the comments below.

Main image credit: Instagram / ShanayaKapoor02

About Ricardo Schulte

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