Karan Johar has been in the eye of the storm lately with a severe backlash surrounding the sexist remarks of Indian cricketers on his chat show Koffee with Karan. Not long after he apologized and took responsibility, another interview of the filmmaker has surfaced in which Karan has given unreasonable justifications of killing Anushka Sharma’s character Alizeh in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
While speaking to Huffington Post, Karan was asked about the problematic gender dynamics in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil to which he replied, “The last track met with many polarised responses and rightfully so, but I was like she (Anushka Sharma’s character Alizeh who doesn’t reciprocate Ayan’s feelings) didn’t love him, she has to die. I wrote this character. He loved her so crazily. She could’ve loved him back, why couldn’t she? So she got cancer and she died.”
He went on to say that a filmmaker has the power to create and destroy. “Well, she (Alizeh) got punished, I wrote it. See, a filmmaker is a God, you write, you create and you destroy,” Karan said.
When asked if he would change anything about the film in hindsight, Karan said he won’t. “Actually I have a problem with all my films besides Ae Dil Hai Mushkil because that’s a film I wanted to make even while knowing that the last act may get a polarised response. It’s a film I wanted to make because it’s personal and was cathartic for me. Ranbir played me. I wanted to deal with the injury caused by a heartbreak,” he said.
The director’s remarks reflect that it is mandatory on women to reciprocate love, irrespective of their feelings. His misogynistic comments have garnered hatred on social media:
Karan Johar saying he killed off Alizeh in ADHM because she didn’t love Ayan and chalking it off as karma is disgusting because we still live in a day and age where women are constantly attacked or killed for not reciprocating feelings and we are NOT going to romanticize that
— sai (@Saisailu97) January 24, 2019
Some people think that Karan is trying to glorify the wrong notion of love
it’s not only problematic, it glorifies entitlement over women and tbh an underlying mental issue of ‘possessing’ your significant other.
— Arshveen Hora (@arshveenjhora) January 24, 2019
PC culture is ridiculous, I agree. But when he says he killed her cos she spurned his true love, imagine what the acid attack victims would feel reading this.
— Vikram Gadgil (@VikramVG) January 24, 2019
Karan was also questioned about Ranbir’s character Ayan getting ‘physically aggressive’, to which the director admitted that he didn’t look at it in that manner and apologised for not paying attention to that aspect.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil also starred Fawad Khan and went on to become a box office hit in 2016 and also picked up four Filmfare awards.