"Who Are You To Tell Me...": Zoya Akhtar's Blunt Response On "Banal" Nepotism Debate Around 'The Archies'

Zoya Akhtar's 'The Archies' was released on Netflix on December 7. The movie has gotten a mixed response from the audience and critics.

Entertainment Desk
Written By: Entertainment Desk
Updated: December 10, 2023 | 13:00 IST
The Archies
Zoya Akhtar's 'The Archies' was released on Netflix on December 7.

Zoya Akhtar's 'The Archies' was released on Netflix on December 7. The movie which marks the acting debut of star kids such as Suhana Khan, Agastya Nanda and Khushi Kapoor, has gotten mixed response from the audience and critics. For the unversed, Suhana Khan is the daughter of Shah Rukh Khan, Khushi Kapoor is the daughter of producer Boney Kapoor and late actress Sridevi while Agastya Nanda is the grandson of Amitabh Bachchan. 

Ever since 'The Archies' premiered, fans have been talking about nepotism and whether star kids have it easy in terms of getting an opportunity to walk with acclaimed directors and producers. 

In the latest entertainment news, in an interview with The Juggernaut, 'Gully Boy' and 'Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara' director Zoya Akhtar called the debate surrounding nepotism as "banal."

"I think the debate is about haves and have-nots. It 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," said Zoya Akhtar. 

"My dad (Javed Akhtar) 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," she added.

Further speaking about it, Zoya Akhtar said, "It’s not going to do anything. If every kid born into the film industry never worked in film, it’s still not going to change your life… 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 audience. They decide if they want to see them or not.”

'The Archies' has been co-produced by Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti and Sharad Devarajan under their production houses Tiger Baby and Graphic India.

In the film, Suhana Khan is playing the character of Veronica Lodge, Agastya Nanda of Archie Andrews and Khushi Kapoor of Betty Cooper. Vedang Raina is playing Reggie Mantle, Yuvraj Menda as Dilton Doiley, Mihir Ahuja as Jughead Jones and Aditi Saigal as Ethel Muggs.

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