Cancel Culture - The Boycott Trend In Bollywood: Why Films Like Sooryavanshi, Radhe Must Release In Theatres
Cancel Culture – The Boycott Trend In Bollywood: Why Films Like Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi, Salman Khan’s Radhe Are Important To Get A Theatrical Release (Photo Credit: YouTube/Bollygrad Studioz & Reliance Entertainment)

Firstly let’s lay the base of the article by saying ‘cancel culture’ has been a worldwide phenomenon, and it’s not just us facing the wrath of the same. People on social media can cancel anything and everything, from a joke to celebs who joke (or hold another country’s citizenship).


Often it’s been discussed whether cancel culture is a funny phase or it’s just outright offensive? Netizens have trolled Akshay Kumar for holding another country’s citizenship, but then there’s this whole discussion around how his movies create employment opportunities for many around. So, who’s to blame here? Is this discussion even valid?


An interesting fact, Macquarie Dictionary declared ‘Cancel Culture’ as the Word of the Year. In a fascinating read by Deccan Chronicle, a former journalist, Iram Mirza, said that the ‘woke generation’ has confused activism with a fashion accessory.

By doing multiple films a year, stars create many employment opportunities, ultimately boosting the country’s economy. Is boycotting a whole movie because of a single person/incident a feasible option? Also, on what basis a specific group call ‘cancel’ and ask the rest of the people to follow?

When stars like Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan are asked to leave the country and go to Pakistan, how does a Bharat crosses 200 crores and Dangal manages to be the highest-earning Bollywood film globally?

There have been many instances provoking the Boycott Trend in Bollywood. From Aamir’s comment on intolerance to Akshay’s citizenship controversies, we’ve seen netizens bursting out their anger in the form of cancelling celebs.

In 2019, the top 10 Bollywood movies collectively collected around 3915 crores which rounds off approx 705 crores in just GST. Film of a top star today attracts 1.50-2 crores in footfalls. That magic number comes with many other employment and business opportunities like the mall/theatre’s utilities & refreshments’ sales.

Now, if you see at just Akshay Kumar‘s numbers in 2019, he had four films to his name in the top 10 highest-earning movies of that year. He collectively gave the industry movies worth 760 crores. This means the government is getting GST, totalling almost 137 crores in just one year only from his films. Even Salman Khan gave Bharat, which crossed 200 crores, and even Dabangg 3 did around 150 crores.

We still are months away from getting back on track doing the business one would ideally expect from big-budget films. But, will the collective ‘internal aggression’ shown by netizens against nepotism during the lockdown impact the box office? Will ‘cancel culture’ cross the boundaries eclipse the existence of art in a country where we all are proud of being democratic?

These are time-bound questions that will be answered when we see the releases of upcoming biggies like 83, Sooryavanshi, Radhe and many more. Till then, share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  1. Money talks. The people who are crying for things that are frankly none of their business, are a minority. Albeit, a loud and whiny (and racist) minority but a minority nonetheless. Because like you pointed out, these movies went on to make a ridiculous amount of money, which implies most people don’t care about Akshay’s citizenship or what religion the Khans are and will spend the money to their films.


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