Bollywood scriptwriter Kanika Dhillon, whose credits include ‘Manmarziyaan’, ‘Kedarnath’ and ‘Haseen Dilruba’, blasted writer-director Navjot Gulati for questioning her credentials.
Trouble began when Gulati, in a series of tweets, objected to Dhillon being credited as the main writer of Taapsee Pannu’s new film ‘Haseen Dillruba’. The film, which will soon premiere on Netflix, is produced by Dhillon’s husband Himanshu Sharama. Gulati accused Dhillon of snatching a credit because she is married to the film’s producer.
“If you want top billing as a Screenwriter in a trailer(something that should be the norm)You need to marry into the production house. Once the Writer becomes a family member, is treated like an Actor-Star. #Goals,” Gulati tweeted.
Bollywood is notorious for denying rightful credits to writers. It isn’t often that a writer’s name is emblazoned on a film’s trailer, but in the case of ‘Haseen Dillruba’ Dhillon’s name appears before the director’s credit.
Dhillon wasn’t about to take Gulati’s criticisms of this lying down.
“I am quite shocked by your extremely sexist – misogynist and bordering on idiotic comment. Neither will I list down my body of work because your pea sized brain will not be able to process a successful woman making it on her own! You may have a brain freeze! Have a good day,” Dhillon hit back.
She also called out Gulati, whose credits include ‘Jai Mummy Di’ and ‘Happily Ever After’, for his “stupidity”.
“And mr @Navjotalive because of writers like YOU – who display their STUPIDITY on something tht should be Applauded as a welcome step by the writing fraternity- other very deserving writers do not get top Billing as is their right—- shame on u!” she wrote.
Gulati didn’t back down and claimed that his intention was not to sound sexist but to point out how writers often don’t get due credit.
Actress Taapsee Pannu, who earlier worked with Dhillon in ‘Manmarziyaan’, threw her weight behind Dhillon and chastised Gulati for his “sexist rant”.
“A progressive call to credit a writer turned into a sexist rant by the age old misogyny of crediting a woman’s success to the house she marries in or the man she married. Your righteous call for equal credit can’t be overtaken by the bitterness in you,” Pannu tweeted.
Director Bejoy Nambiar also supported Dhillon and her decision to call Gulati out.
“Fully agree. More power to you @Kanika Dhillon,” tweeted Nambiar, who has directed stirring films such as ‘Shaitaan’.