Shah Rukh Khan has always maintained that he has never faced discrimination for being a Muslim. But when he was detained for about two hours by airport officials in U.S. this week, he made sure every media carried his story. Following this, there have been debates over the possibility of Shah Rukh trying to milk this episode for the promotion of his forthcoming film ‘My Name Is Khan’ being directed by his buddy Karan Johar and reportedly based on the same subject of community discrimination.
So would it be right to say that the Badshah of Bollywood is leaving no stone unturned to play up this episode for the sake of free international mileage worth crores that his film would get? Is King Khan flashing the community card to boost the pre-release hype for ‘My Name Is Khan’?
Two years ago, Bollywood PR guru Dale Bhagwagar had propelled his client Shilpa Shetty into international limelight, when he’d publicly admitted that what Shilpa was facing inside the walls of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ in UK, was indeed racial discrimination. The rest is history.
When we questioned Dale whether Shah Rukh could be trying to encash the U.S. airport episode for the promotions of ‘My Name Is Khan’, the public relations expert said, “I don’t think it is a publicity stunt. Shah Rukh Khan does not need gimmicks! Though this event would undoubtedly prop up the hype for the film, it couldn’t be intentional. But even if it is, what’s the harm? It will at least bring out the issue in the open that even superstars aren’t spared of discrimination. It could just be a nice way of bringing out the obvious into global limelight once again.”
“At times, even when our clients sneeze, we PRs shout from rooftops. We don’t miss any opportunity to turn controversies into issues, which is also why we are stamped with the words ‘spin doctors’. We turn, twist and manipulate public opinion in favour of our clients. It’s our job. So if Shah Rukh is fuming over an episode which angered and troubled him, why blame him? He’s a public figure, and a huge one at that. He has all the right to voice his opinion,” adds the celebrity publicist. Like always, this time too, Dale does have a point. After all, we are living in a world driven by spice and sensationalism.