After being accused by filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar of tweaking a title owned by him and using it for the upcoming web series of Dharma Productions titled ‘The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives’, filmmaker Karan Johar apologised to Bhandarkar today through an open letter that he posted on Twitter. In his open letter, Johar said, “I humbly apologise for any grievance that has been caused to you during the course of last few weeks”, after mentioning he was an ardent admirer of Bhandarkar’s work.
Johar claimed that the said title was chosen by him keeping in mind the format of his series and that it was distinct from Bhandarkar’s title. He said that he did not foresee that the title would upset Bhandarkar but since it had, he apologised for it. Johar assured him that the format, nature, audience and title of his series would not dent or encumber Bhandarkar’s work in any way. Although Johar apologised to Bhandarkar, he indicated that he is going ahead with the title for the series, and not changing it.
Bhandarkar’s response to Johar’s apology
Giving a stingy response to Johar’s apology on Twitter, Madhur Bhandarkar said that it did not make sense to call the industry a ‘fraternity’ when norms were flouted by those who established them. “When we blatantly disregard norms that we ourselves have established, then it makes very little sense calling ourselves a fraternity”, he said. Bhandarkar reminded Johar that he had allowed him to use his title ‘Gutka’ in 2013 after Karan Johar had requested for the same.
Bhandarkar said that he expected the same courtesy in return from Johar after he said no this time as he had registered the title. He added that he was deeply upset with Johar for going ahead with his title despite his declination. However, he accepted Johar’s apology and wished him well for his future endeavours, saying that he is leaving the matter now.
Bhandarkar had tweeted on November 20, 2020 that Karan Johar and Apoorva Mehta, CEO and Producer at Dharma Productions, had tweaked his title ‘Bollywood Wives’ to ‘The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives’ and that it was morally and ethically wrong on Johar’s part. He requested Johar not to dent his work and change the title.
Dear @karanjohar U & @apoorvamehta18 had asked me 4 the title #BollywoodWives for web,which I refused,as my project is underway. It is Morally & ethically wrong u to tweak it to #TheFabulousLivesofBollywoodWives. Pls do not dent my project. I humbly request u to change the title.— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) November 20, 2020
On November 23, Bhandarkar had shared on Twitter a letter written by Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) to Film Guild of India and the latter’s email response to the former. In the letter written by the IMPPA to the Film Guild of India, it had asked whether Dharma Productions were given the title ‘Bollywood Wives’. The Film Guild of India responded in negative, saying that the said title was not registered in the favour of Dharma Productions.
When ‘IMPPA’ asked ‘Film Guild of India’ whether @DharmaMovies was given the Title #BollywoodWives where Dharma is a Member. The GUILD replied that they had outrightly rejected the same. That shows Dharma have blatantly tweeked and misused our Title #BollywoodWives. Check 👇👇 https://t.co/Wo9UJA3fCD pic.twitter.com/ZibM7XYp60— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) November 23, 2020
Bhandarkar shared a number of notices on Twitter today including the IMPPA letter addressed to the Film Guild of India. He said that since November 19, two notices from the IMPPA, one notice from the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) and two notices from the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) had been sent to Dharma Productions regarding the misuse and tweaking of the said title. But Dharma Productions has not officially responded to any of the notices.
Notices send to @DharmaMovies since 19th Nov, 2 from (IMPPA) ,1 (IFTDA)& 2 Notices of (FWICE )all r Official Bodies of the Film Industry, on misusing & tweaking of my Film Title #BollywoodWives…there is NO official response yet to any of the above Associations from Dharma. https://t.co/QBZyMWxXDG pic.twitter.com/zEfndEoATZ— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) November 26, 2020
Johar’s web series ‘The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives’ is set to be released on Netflix on Friday featuring Neelam Kothari, Maheep Kapoor, Bhavna Pandey and Seema Khan. It is a reality show that revolves around the lives of these women, who are the wives of Bollywood actors Samir Soni, Sanjay Kapoor, Chunky Pandey and Sohail Khan respectively. It will also feature Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri Khan as guests. The series has been compared to both Keeping Up With The Kardashian and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills due to its format.
Last month, Johar’s production house had received show-cause notices for dumping garbage and bio-medical waste during a film shoot. Johar’s aides Kshitij Prasad and Abhinav Chopra are under the scanner of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) as part of the ongoing drug investigation.