Karan Johar has always been known to be generous towards his colleagues' works, unless the colleague happens to be Ram Gopal Varma.
Little did he know that a harmless and warm congratulatory tweet to his friends Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Arjun Rampal, Deepika Padukone and Lara Dutta for their film Housefull would spark off a series of nasty comments barbs and innuendos from across the world.
Baffled and amused, Karan spoke from New York to say, "I normally wish all the best for all my colleagues and their work, both to the people and involved and on public platforms. In fact just some time after I wished the team of Housefull I also said good things about my friend Gurinder Chadha's new film It's A Wonderful Afterlife. No one seemed to mind that."
From the minute that Karan tweeted about Housefull, his email, phone and SMS have been swamped by indignant angry and abusive responses.
Says Karan, "I know it's free world. But it doesn't mean people can say whatever they like. Many of the messages are downright abusive. I've praised so many films. But I didn't even praise Housefull. I just congratulated the team. And I started getting abusive messages asking how I could support a film like this. Arrey, what I choose to support or not support is entirely my prerogative."
Karan is clueless about what could've triggered off this reaction. Housefull producer Sajid Nadiadwala says he's aware of the backlash on the internet. "Not only Karan Johar, even my friend Salman Khan tweeted about Housefull. While no one has any unkind thing to say about the film in print or on television, on the internet it's a different matter. This is why I say, stay away from social network when it comes to my film."
Unluckily for Nadiadwala, almost all the members of his Housefull cast are on Twitter.
Says the harried producer, "They are all so active on Twitter, it's scary. If you notice all the major troubles in our country lately, including the IPL scandal have started on Twitter. That's why I've put a non-disclosure agreement on people working in my films." The next step for Sajid Nadiadwala is to ask his actors and technicians to stay off the social networks on websites as long as they are working in his films.
Says Sajid, "I cannot by contract persuade them to stay off social networking websites. But I can request them to do so."
As for Karan Johar's growing avalanche of hate mail for supporting Housefull, Karan says, "I don't care what's tweeted against me. It won't stop me from supporting my friends' films."