Production company Balaji Telefilms on Wednesday apologised a day after the Entertainment Journalists’ Guild of India threatened to boycott actor Kangana Ranaut following her argument with a reporter at a promotional event for her upcoming film Judgmentall Hai Kya on Sunday.
The guild had written to the film’s producer Ekta Kapoor, and demanded that she condemn Ranaut’s behaviour.
“A lot is being reported about the debate that ensued between our film JudgeMentall Hai Kya’s actor and journalist Justin Rao, at the film’s song launch event on July 7th, 2019. Unfortunately, the event took an unpleasant turn,” the statement said. “While the people involved in it fairly held their own perspectives but because it happened at the event of our film, we, as the producers, would like to apologize and express regret for this untoward incident.”
The company further stated that they did not intend “to disrespect or hurt anyone’s sentiments”. “Our film JudgeMentall Hai Kya releases on July 26th and we urge the media to not let this one incident hamper the team effort that has gone behind making the film,” it said.
On July 7, Ranaut accused PTI journalist Justin Rao of running a “smear campaign” against her after her film Manikarnika. She made the claim just as Rao was starting to ask her a question during a media interaction. Ranaut’s remarks led to an argument between the two.
Ranaut claimed that Rao had “harmed” her brand despite spending three hours with her in her vanity van and having lunch with her. She said Rao had called her “jingoistic” in his articles. Rao, however, claimed that he met Ranaut briefly for an interview, did not have lunch, and had not sent her any personal messages. Ranaut then accused Rao of making the argument about “star versus journalist”.
The Entertainment Journalists’ Guild of India wrote in its letter that Ranaut’s behaviour was uncalled for, and demanded a public statement from her and the film’s producers. “We, as a guild, have collectively decided to boycott Ms Ranaut and not give her any media coverage,” the organisation told Kapoor. It assured her that the decision would not affect the film or the rest of the cast.
Ranaut’s sister and manager Rangoli Chandel said on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon that the actor would not apologise. She described journalists as anti-national.