Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek, Aishwarya, Preity Zinta and Ritiesh Deshmukh, part of the month-long, The Unforgettables Tour, running across US, Canada, UK and the West Indies, have just finished their first two shows in Toronto and Trinidad.
Yesterday, Amitabh Bachchan in his blog made a telling statement about the show. We quote verbatim: "I am shocked and covered in disbelief at being privy personally to a design by certain sections of the media and the fraternity to bring down this show.
To kill it, to malign and write it off. This is shameful and disgusting.
"I have on several occasions spoken of a bias that exists for no reason whatsoever, against us and on each occasion, you my readers, have pleaded that I ignore them for greater dignity and character. But I am compelled to talk about it, dignity can take a walk for a while, because it has already started," wrote Bachchan.
When this reporter spoke to Bachchan in Toronto and asked him to 'talk about it', he chose to sit on the fence. "SRK is a friend and a well-wisher, not just of my family and me, but also of the fraternity and the industry. Also the speculation on the list of names [SRK, Salman and Aamir] is a lot of rubbish. I do not have any issues with any of them."
Says a source in the film industry, "It's difficult to understand whom Amitabh Bachchan means by the 'fraternity'. He has issues with Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan. Is he trying to say that they are out to sabotage his show? Aamir had made nasty remarks about Big B on Black, which Bachchan hasn't forgotten or forgiven though he made pretence of making up at Aamir's Jaane Tu premiere.
Bachchan and his family don't like Salman because of his history with Aishwarya, while his rivalry and cold war with Shahrukh is a well-known fact especially after Shahrukh ousted Bachchan from KBC3. Bachchan hasn't forgotten or forgiven him."
An US promoter, on condition of anonymity, confirmed that there have been attempts by a 'big star' to pull down The Unforgettables tour, "A big event organiser in India, has tried in multiple ways, to sabotage our shows.
The attempt was made at the behest of a very big star. This star tried to schedule his shows in UK and the USA in same cities as the Unforgettables tour, just a month before the tour and at half the rates we were offering. But he couldn't do it as it wasn't financially viable. So now the star is spreading rumours of our show in Toronto being a flop with tickets being sold at high prices."
"Mr Bachchan is an experienced hand at shows and is involved at every stage. Nobody will try to mess with us again though they tried very hard. It's an expensive show with each show costing over a million dollars (Rs 4.2 crore), while a Shahrukh Khan show costs just $4,50,000 (Rs 1.9 crore)."