Karan Johar feels ‘immense gratitude’ towards the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) temporarily lifted the suspension of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for their comments on the filmmaker’s talk show.
In an interview with a channel on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Karan stated that he had apologised previously too because he felt he is ‘completely accountable’ as it’s his show and the questions were his. Karan, however, said he couldn’t take accountability for the answers, though he could do so for the questions. The ‘Bombay Velvet’ actor added that the ‘frivolous, candid’ nature of the show sometimes leads to guests going ‘out of line’.
KJo continued that he was ‘feeling guilty’ about what the ‘boys were going through.’ He asserted that the duo ‘paid a heavy price’ as they were dropped from the tour and not allowed to play the matches.
The CoA arrived at the decision to temporarily lift the suspension as the appointment of the BCCI Ombudsman in the case is pending directions of the Supreme Court of India.
Karan shared that he can only feel ‘immense gratitude’ with the BCCI decision and added that ‘hopefully the first phase’ of the controversy has passed. The director hoped that their statements were considered as errors of judgement. Calling Hardik and Rahul ‘talented forces of cricket’, Karan stated that action was taken against them, and that they shouldn’t be punished further. The filmmaker compared the situation to how children are punished in school but always given a second chance.
When asked why he went ahead to air the episode despite their comments, KJo cleared that he wasn’t after ratings knowing that it could cause a scandal, as his role as a talk show host is not his ‘core job’ but only an extension of what he does as a filmmaker. On failing to understand the offensive remarks, the director said it was ‘probably my shortcoming as human being’ or a ‘weak’ emotional understanding of the situation. He concluded that he had learnt his lesson.
The cricketers, Hardik in particular, were accused of making sexist comments, talking casually about their dating and sex life and for objectifying women in the ‘Koffee with Karan’ episode aired on January 6. They were dropped from the tour of Australia going on then and had returned to India. While the episode has been pulled off air, the duo tendered apologies to the board.
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