Karan Johar is one of the biggest names in the Hindi film industry. The filmmaker has donned several hats over the years, from a director, producer, actor, host, RJ, to even a matchmaker. Karan, who is praised for his contribution to the industry and known for bringing forth amazing talent into the film industry, has also been a part of several controversies.
However, the filmmaker has never shied away from speaking his mind or standing up for himself. Here are the top five controversies the filmmaker was part of in recent years.
Alleged Drug Party
Known for being a good host and throwing generous, fancy parties, in 2019, Karan Jonar was caught in a controversy after sharing a candid video from a get-together. The video shared by Karan himself showed that the party was attended by A-listers including Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Ranbir Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Malaika Arora, and Vicky Kaushal. He had captioned the post as, "Saturday night vibes."
As soon as the post went viral, reports of drugs being consumed at the party began to surface. Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa, in a series of tweets, had claimed that the actors were under the influence of drugs and also asked them to prove him wrong by getting a drug test done. Later, during an interview, Karan went on to clarify by saying, "There were achieving members of the industry who were having an easy night out after a hard week of work, having a good time. I took that video with all the earnestness... would I be putting out that video if there was anything happening at all, I am not stupid."
KWK- Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul
Karan Johar's chat show, Koffee With Karan has also been the instigator of controversies. It happened during the sixth episode of the last season in 2019, which featured cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul. After the episode was aired, Hardik and Rahul received heavy criticism for their misogynistic comments. They were even sent home in the middle of the ODI series in Australia as punishment, which was considered "justified" by their teammates. The episode was taken down as Karan felt responsible about these repercussions. While many called out Hardik and Rahul for their insensitivity, others also believed that Karan was equally guilty.
During the hour-long episode, Pandya and Rahul talked about their relationships, crushes and more which landed them in trouble. Pandey while boasting about once of his experiences said, "When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, 'Main karke aya hai aaj (I had sex today)'. At a party my parents asked me 'acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai [who is your interest here?] so I said yeh, yeh, yeh (pointing out women)' and they were like 'waah proud of you beta',"
Another comment that was highly criticised came after Karan asked Pandey why he doesn't ask women for their names at night clubs, "I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I'm little from the black side so I need to see how they move," said Pandey.
Another controversy, that started at the KWK couch and spread like wildfire all over the industry, included Kangana Ranaut. The episode features Kangana alongside Saif Ali Khan, what soon turned into an everyday debate was her remark on nepotism. She even went on to call Karan the 'flag-bearer of nepotism'. The topic has been a part of discussion ever since, and lead to many other epic moments with the Bollywood stars being asked to take sides. It led to star kids being criticised and put under scrutiny while it also opened up more doors for talent from outside the industry.
KWK- Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor
This one was less of a controversy for Karan Johar and more of a week's worth of entertainment for fans all over the country. The episode of Koffee With Karan 3, featuring Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor, came as a shock to many.
Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor since have made up and even worked together on many projects, but when the episode was aired the two had recently parted ways. Given how it was rumoured even Sonam Kapoor had dated Ranbir, fans were excited to see how the episode would turn out.
When Karan Johar asked Deepika and Sonam which product should their ex endorse, Deepika said, "A condom brand." Several other revelations from the show have made the episode a fan favourite.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Multi-starrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was reported as Karan's passion project. The film, however, did not fare well at the box office due to various reasons, including a controversy courted by Karan Johar. The film released right after the Uri attack, in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed. At the time, All Indian Cine Workers Association had banned working with Pakistani artists. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starred Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, who played a pivotal role, and Karan was asked to reshoot the parts, but he refused and chose to pay the fine instead.
Karan was also roped into another controversy when Ajay Devgn, whose film Shivaay was also releasing in the same weekend, leaked a recording of Karan's conversation with Kamaal R Khan. The recording revealed that Karan had asked KRK to give a positive review of his film in lieu of some payment. This also caused Karan his friendship with Kajol as she replied to her husband's tweet, "Shocked". However, over the years the two have made up.