News Hindi

Veteran journalist Subhash K Jha pens opens letter to Rani Mukerji, slams her PR team

The veteran journalist spoke about the alleged bullying at the hands of Yash Raj Films' PR team.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

Earlier today, the PR team of Yash Raj Films had issued a statement rubbishing freelance journalist Subhash K Jha's report about filmmaker-producer Aditya Chopra likely to direct Ranveer Singh in his next.  A few hours later, the veteran journalist penned an open letter to Chopra’s wife and noted actress Rani Mukerji wherein he accused her PR team of arm-twisting.

Jha first spoke about how he once shared a great rapport with Mukerji, who had moved on after the journalist apologised for a wrong article in the past.

There was no mention or defence of his article about Chopra directing Singh, but the veteran journalist spoke about the alleged bullying at the hands of Yash Raj Films' PR team.

“These ultra-efficient marketing maestros – determinded to justify their pay-checks — resort to open bullying to get their way with journalists. It's all about controlling the news about their clients. Most mediapersons, including editors, give in to their absurd demands,” Jha wrote in his open letter, which was published by IANS news agency.

In a surprising disclosure, Jha claimed that he was asked to sign an undertaking that he wouldn’t write anything on Yash Raj Films without informing their marketing team and his refusal to do so cost him an exclusive interview with Mukerji.

"I was asked to give an undertaking that I will henceforth not write anything about Yash Raj [Films] without informing their marketing team. I refused, as any self-respecting journalist would. In that case, I was told politely, the interview with you, Rani, was off,” Jha added.

The journalist called this arm-twisting and slammed the PR companies.

“You would think that seasoned, intelligent denizens of the entertainment industry would know better and not encourage these busybodies -- the self-appointed custodians of showbiz -- to rule their careers. But no. The PR companies are, alarmingly, predominant in the entertainment business. They tell the media what to write, when to write it and even which font-size to use. They also dictate which pictures to put in with writeups on threat of cutting the umbilical cord with stars,” said Jha.

We contacted the YRF PR team, but they refused to comment on Jha’s open letter.

A few weeks ago, Mukerji had given a group interview, covered by Mukerji herself had spoken about how actors today are pampered. Mukerji was asked whether actors were under constant pressure to look good on camera.

“Today, I think actors are really pampered. They have 10 people surrounding them. There are PRs, managers, fitness experts, security, blah blah. It is a never ending story. We were never pampered. Earlier, we used to get criticised if we said something [that was] not right. We learnt from those mistakes and didn’t repeat them," Mukerji replied.

Mukerji wasn't critical of the Yash Raj Films' PR team, who she felt were merely doing their jobs. The actress said, “Today, we have PRs who lay down the dos and the don’ts. The young actors are so pampered. Actors would rent clothes for an occasion. Eat, drink, be happy. Why take any untoward pressure?”

While Jha has raised a valid point, Mukerji has never given an impression that she is remote-controlled by her PR personnel.

Mukerji’s Hichki is set to be released on 23 March.