"Get me a top television journalist who puts my view across as they are, without trying to add their own point of view. Then I would say something," said Shah Rukh Khan in an interview with HT Cafe, The Hindustan Times today January 16. SRK was reacting to a question on why can't Bollywood stars speak up about 'real issues' the way Meryl Streep did recently.
"I have said it before, and I rue the day I said it (shared my opinions). It's about how my views are put across, which is very sad. And then the same people ask, 'Why doesn't Shah Rukh say anything?' No, I won't say anything. You say it, but you can't tell me what to say," said Shah Rukh Khan sounding hurt and rightly so. After the appeal for secularism by Shah Rukh Khan on his birthday in 2015, a manufactured hate campaign was run against him mischievously propagating that he was saying things to defame India. His film Dilwale was not allowed to release for the first two days in a couple of states and a vicious online and whatsapp campaign was run to harm him economically. The hate mongering succeeded to some extent as the box office collections of the film did get affected.
"You like Meryl Streep so much, please run her tape. God bless you; you have Meryl Streep saying it, so why do you want someone else to say the same thing again? Why do you want to be a copycat like you always have been? It's stupid," said Shah Rukh Khan firmly.
A reporter from a news channel recently told me that both Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan have started giving very 'safe answers' and that they avoid commenting on controversial topics. I replied that it is a very sensible thing to do because most of the news channels misreport and misrepresent. If a celebrity is used as a tool for garnering TRPs without a semblance of respect or regard for factual accuracies or correct perspective then celebrities will increasingly become politically correct and guarded. I gave one example, when Priyanka Chopra spoke about why artists shouldn't be persecuted during cross border tensions, a prominent news channel ran a show headlined, 'Priyanka Chopra ka Pak Prem'. It was bizarre and totally lacked perspective, maybe deliberately so. Time for media to introspect as rightly pointed out by Shah Rukh Khan.