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Zoya Akhtar Defends ‘The Archies’ Against Nepotism Debate, Says ‘Who Are You To Tell Me What To….’

Zoya Akhtar quipped about the nepotism debate surrounding her film The Archies.

Zoya Akhtar quipped about the nepotism debate surrounding her film The Archies.

Zoya Akhtar opened up about the nepotism debate that took place before and after the release of Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Agastya Nanda starrer The Archies.

Zoya Akhtar is an acclaimed filmmaker, with some acclaimed films like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Gully Boy on her success list. Her latest film, The Archies, is also streaming on Netflix. It marked the debut of Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana Khan, Janhvi Kapoor’s sister and Sridevi-Boney Kapoor’s daughter Khushi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson Agastya Nanda. Even before it’s release, The Archies remained in the headlines since it brought up the whole nepotism debate. Now Zoya Akhtar has defended herself for roping in star kids.

Speaking with the Juggernaut, Zoya Akhtar explained, “I think it (the debate) is about privilege, access, and social capital. I completely understand having anger or frustration at the fact that you do not have the access some people get so easily. That is a conversation to be had. Everyone needs to have the same kind of education, job opportunities, et al. But when you turn around and say Suhana Khan shouldn’t be in my film, it’s banal because it’s not going to change your life whether she’s in my film or not. You have to talk about what is going to change your life.”

She went on to add, “My dad came from nowhere and made a life for himself. I was born and bred in the industry, and I have every right to follow whatever I want to do. As part of his network and what he made, I know those people. What am I going to do, disown my dad because I want to be a filmmaker? Are you saying I can’t choose my profession? It makes no sense. The actual problem is something else, and this is just like beating a dead horse… it’s not going to do anything. If every kid born into the film industry never worked in cinema, it’s still not going to change your life.”

Zoya Akhtar also laid down her definition of nepotism, “Nepotism is when I take public money or someone else’s money and favour my friends and family. Nepotism cannot be when I take my own money! Who are you to tell me what to do with my money? It’s my money! If tomorrow I want to spend my money on my niece, it’s my problem. At the end of the day, if a director or an actor gets another job, it is solely on the audiences. Viewers decide if they want to see them or not,” the film-maker stated.

Zoya Akhtar’s The Archies released on Netflix on December 7 and promises to take the audience down memory lane. The Archies is an Indian adaptation of the American comic book series centred in the fictional town of Riverdale. It brings the characters of Archie, Veronica, Betty, Reggie, Dilton, Jughead, and Big Ethel to life in a 1960s hill town. Speaking about the film, Zoya told PTI, “Fans want nostalgia, a walk down memory lane and familiarity, but the generation today, who have not read the comics, they need something that holds them to the story. We had to take themes that matter to Gen Z and mix it with nostalgia to cook the film together.”

The Archies had a grand screening on December 5, which was attended by some of the most popular names in the entertainment industry. It stars Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Aditi Saigal, Agastya Nanda, Vedang Raina, Mihir Ahuja and Yuvraj Menda.

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