A couple of days back we had reported about how the Academy Awards committee had invited about 744 celebs worldwide to be a part of its Oscars’ Academy Class of 2017. This 'Class' will help the Academy to nominate actors and movies for the next year's Oscar slab. Among the celebs invited like The Rock and Whoopi Goldberg, there are also quite a few Bollywood celebs like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Irrfan Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone. However one name is missing from the list, and that's Shah Rukh Khan. The omission is baffling since Shah Rukh Khan is equally a bigger star as Salman Khan and Aamir Khan, and he has a massive following overseas. The actor is also an eloquent speaker and has very good knowledge of foreign movies and books. So we can't blame his fans for getting riled up over the omission.
Now to add insult to injury, there have been reports that Academy, having learnt about this debate, had issued a statement where they defended their decision with this - "The basic requirement is that a candidate must have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of theatrical motion pictures."
This sounds like they don't consider Shah Rukh Khan worthy enough and that he has not 'demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of theatrical motion pictures'. Enough to make you angry and make you want to shoot an email to the Academy, listing his various achievements?
First of all, Academy has not issued any official statement defending Shah Rukh's omission. We tried searching the source for the original story and all our searches seem to be ending to this website, called Daily Sun. However the statement they mentioned (and others picked up) was actually taken from the report in Hollywood Reporter, when they had written about the Oscar invite story. This was the original para - "The basic requirement is that a candidate must have "demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of theatrical motion pictures," although each branch then has its own specific requirements. Actors, for example, must have a minimum of three theatrical features under their belt, while directors must have a minimum of two helming credits. Academy Award nominees are automatically considered for membership, although an invite is not guaranteed." Again, this has nothing to with Shah Rukh Khan specifically.
Even the above para is taken from the Academy's own website...
So Shah Rukh Khan fans, relax! The Academy has no personal vendetta against the actor. It's more of a case of a missed opportunity. And it's not just Shah Rukh Khan. Even actors like Akshay Kumar, Shabana Azmi, Ranbir Kapoor are missing as well. And I have a bigger grouse that the Academy has chosen only Bollywood stars for its acting class invitees. Why not a Kamal Haasan, a Rajinikanth, a Shobana, a Mohanlal, or a Mammooty on that list? For the Academy, does Indian cinema mean only Bollywood?
That's the question you should be asking...
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