The death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput has initiated a wide discussion on nepotism in Bollywood amongst people. A recent study has revealed that on June 14, the day Sushant died by suicide, and June 15, searches with keywords “nepotism in Bollywood” spiked by almost 2000 per cent.
The study by SEMrush tracked how often the word “nepotism” was searched from May 2019 to June 2020. It shows that during this period, it was searched an average of 62,458 times each month.
Those who search for the word “nepotism” may not be looking for results that link their search to the film industry. Nepotism is a widely used word, and the practice of favouring insiders is standard in every industry. However, those who do searches using the keywords “nepotism in Bollywood” are trying to link nepotism to the film industry.
The study shows these searches spiked dramatically with Sushant’s sudden death. Following the spike, there was a dramatic fall in the number of times the keyword “nepotism in Bollywood” was searched. On June 15, 16, the number of times this keyword was searched fell to only 153 per cent higher than average.
It also tracked data on Twitter to understand what impact Sushant’s suicide had on the microblogging site. It found a massive surge in the number of times tweets were added to #NepotismBollywood, #BollywoodBlockedSushant, #JusticeForSushantRajput, and #KaranJoharIsBULLY.
By the end of June 17, the total number of tweets on #NepotismBollywood, #BollywoodBlockedSushant, #JusticeForSushantSinghRajput, and KaranJoharIsBULLY stood at 3,961, 10,520, 36,292, and 10,230 respectively.
In contrast, on June 14, the number of tweets made under each hashtag was just 1, 0, 32, and 0, respectively. The study highlights that many feel the film industry is tilted in favour of insiders.
Speaking about the results of the study Fernando Angulo, Head of Communications, SEMrush said: “Our study should serve as a caution to Bollywood. Many who love its movies secretly aspire to stardom, when these aspiring stars feel they have no chance of realising their hidden ambitions, their enthusiasm for Bollywood’s fare may wane. For Bollywood to be seen in the best possible light, it must not allow for a repeat of what happened to Sushant. It should give outsiders who are talented the same chance as that given to insiders. When the masses see that outsiders with no links to the movie industry are making it big, they will view Bollywood’s productions in a more favourable light. As a result, the receipts earned by the box office will increase”.