Shah Rukh Khan presented the Na-Real award to Vidya Balan for Heyy Babyy in 2008Shah Rukh Khan presented the Na-Real award to Vidya Balan for Heyy Babyy in 2008
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Renowned Bollywood actress Vidya Balan has recently shed light on her experiences with nepotism and bullying in the Hindi film industry, recounting a particularly unpleasant incident during the Filmfare Awards 2008.

In a candid discussion on the podcast Unfiltered with Samdish, Vidya Balan shared her encounters with nepotism, a pervasive issue that has long plagued Bollywood. Recalling a specific instance, she revealed how she was singled out and ridiculed during the awards ceremony for her costumes in the 2007 film Heyy Babyy, directed by Sajid Khan.

“When they told me they’re going to give me the Na-Real award, I said, ‘Why me? My clothes are not just my choice, right?’ At that time, I was too new to have an opinion on anything. So they said, ‘No, we’re just doing this fun segment so we’re going to give you this award,'” Vidya recounted.

Despite her initial willingness to participate, Vidya soon realized she was the only one being targeted through the segment. Feeling isolated and vulnerable, she described the experience as akin to bullying. “It felt like bullying to me. It was, it undoubtedly was. Just because I don’t come with a certain shield, you can’t… I thought it was a joke so it was okay. But when I realized I was the only one being made fun of, it wasn’t funny anymore,” she expressed.

The Na-Real awards, Bollywood’s equivalent of the Razzies, were presented during the 2008 Filmfare Awards ceremony by co-hosts Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan. Vidya, seated in the audience, was handed the coconut-shaped award, symbolizing her supposed fashion blunder in Heyy Babyy. Despite hesitations, she was encouraged to play along by the hosts.

During her acceptance speech, Vidya not only acknowledged her Heyy Babyy director Sajid Khan and costume designer Manish Malhotra but also subtly criticized them. She famously quipped in response to Shah Rukh and Saif’s jesting remarks about her attire, “When I got here and saw you, I said, ‘Wow, I didn’t realize Yash Raj has such cool waiters.'”

Reflecting on this incident, Vidya revealed it as her first major encounter with nepotism in the industry, highlighting the challenges faced by outsiders. However, despite the hurdles, Vidya Balan has emerged as a powerhouse performer in Bollywood, with her iconic roles continuing to captivate audiences.

Vidya, last seen in Do Aur Do Pyaar, is set to reprise her iconic role of Manjulika in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 3, further solidifying her position as one of Bollywood’s most versatile talents.

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