Now that Asha Parekh has been named and shamed, let's bring out all the dirt from under the (red) carpet. The yesteryear actress did a bad, bad thing by asking/lobbying for an award, right? So while everyone outside the industry is laughing at Ms Parekh, everyone inside B-Town is (or at least they should be) squirming. Because they all have pulled tricks to win awards. What if all their names were called out, too?
The mistake the senior actress made was to negotiate the award for herself. Obviously, she didn't know the rules. This is how it works -- An invite goes to an actor's house, the manager makes a call to the publication house (Filmfare, Screen, Stardust or some channel) and makes it clear that the nominated star is busy shooting/ out of town/ has a prior commitment so he/she won't be able to make it. Unless, of course, they are winning the award. In which case the star will make the effort to come for the award function, even if it means flying in from another city. A star's confirmation for attending the award function comes only after the promise of one. And if the actor is not nominated for any award, a special category must be created -- like Star Of The Year, Entertainer Of The Year, Most Special performance Of The Year, etc etc. Every actor and actress who attends an award function comes back home with an award. Think that's a coincidence?
The only actor who does go to award functions and comes back home without the shiny trophy is Salman Khan. Earlier this month, he dropped into the Stardust awards function. He left even the venue long before the Best Actor award was announced, even though he was nominated in the Best Actor category for Bajrangi Bhaijaan. I recall, a few years ago, he was performing at an award function when they announced his name as the winner for Best Actor. He showed zero interest in collecting the trophy, choosing to stay backstage in his van. It was up to his brother Arbaaz to accept it on his behalf.
A few years ago, an actress who delivered a smashing hit of a biopic, was nominated for Critics' Choice Best Actress. She refused to enter the venue. She parked outside and called from her car and announced that she would only come in, if she was winning the award.
Another actress, another award ceremony. This foreign import wasn't even nominated for an award, she was performing and was in her van. When she was told that a seat was reserved for her in front of the stage, she said she would only sit in the audience, if they gave her an award. For the next one hour, she kept calling to check if they'd decided what she would win.
It's the same story every year. Talk to any team behind an award function and you will hear all about the bullying, pleading and emotional blackmailing from the stars, their managers and their families.
That's not all. Even the stars called to present the awards have their list of demands. Sridevi refused to go up on a stage a couple of years ago because she felt she should be giving away a popular award to a mega star and not a Lifetime Achievement Award to a faded star. Rekha only wants to announce the Best Actor/Actress. I could go on... but it's pointless.
The situation is not likely to change. It's all a sham. So many award functions, so little credibility.
It started with Aamir Khan, followed by Salman and now Kangana. Maybe if more actors ban awards things will change. The stars have to change first and then the system will change. Until then, enjoy the song-and-dance at award shows.