While the ‘nepotism issue’ still continues to brew and IIFA continues to make headlines, another issue seems to have come to the fore involving none other than Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani and the IIFA bigwigs. After he labeled the awards a ‘paid holiday’ for celebs, Nihalani has now sent a five-page legal notice to IIFA and the organisers (Wizcraft International) of the event demanding a public apology for the ‘defamatory’ remarks passed against him by hosts Ritesh Deshmukh and Manish Paul.
Nihalani’s lawyer Suren Uppal stated that his client’s photograph was misused at the IIfa awards this year. He further stated that his client was referred to as ‘watchman’ in one of the skits performed by Deshmukh and Paul in an attempt to “Increase the TRP of the show.” He said this was done with the intention to create an “adverse atmosphere in the public against Nihalani.” The notice also mentions that derogatory remarks were made against the CBFC during IIFA 2016 as well by hosts Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar. In a statement to Mid-day, director of Wizcraft International Sabbas Joseph said that there was nothing in the show that “warrants any notice,” and that once Pahlaj watches the entire show the “misunderstanding will be corrected.”
Pahlaj Nihalani in a recent interview had slammed IIFA terming it as a “paid holiday” for celebs. He insinuated that there were double standards within the industry claiming that Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar were not nominated for Dangal and Rustom respectively because they wouldn’t attend the awards function which in actuality were “weekend holiday plans.” He pointed out a number of stars who did not attend the event despite being in New York because they were “too tired from partying all night.” He asked who was paying for all the extravagance associated with the awards show. Nihalani also questioned the impact Hindi Cinema had on the world in the last 18 years and what role IIFA played in it, challenging IIFA’s claim of being the representatives of Indian Cinema abroad.
Despite the ups and downs, IIFA continues to be the most talked about event this year. And while Wizcraft International have given their side of the story, it remains to be seen how Nihalani will respond to their statement.