Have a thick skin, Kangana Ranaut tells Taapsee, but accuses journalist of running smear campaign against her

The temperamental actress ‘ conduct at a promotional event of her upcoming film leaves the media shocked

By Mayur Lookhar

Kangana Ranaut argues with a journalist at the Wakhra Swag song launch in Mumbai

Mumbai: Kangana Ranaut is not one to hold herself back.  Though her views evoke controversies, but Ranaut has often been lauded for speaking fearlessly against nepotism. It’s this feisty attitude that’s often earned her praise from the media too. The Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019) actress though left the media shocked when she accused a highly respectable journalist of running a smear campaign against her.

Ranaut stepped out with Rajkummar Rao, producer Ekta Kapoor, director Prakash Kovelamudi, writer Kanika Dhillon for the launch of the Wakhra Swag song from the upcoming dark comedy Judgemental Hai Kya (2019)

 The concerned journalist was about to ask a question, but the moment Ranaut heard his name, the Queen (2014) actress bumped in saying, ““Justin (reporter) tum toh hamare dushmann ban gaye yaar. Badi ghaitya baatein likh rahen ho. Kitne zyada gandi baatein likh rahe ho. Itna ganda sochtey kaise ho?,’ said Ranaut.

[Justin, you’ve become my enemy, friend. You are writing all cheap stuff about me. How do you think so dirty?]

Alarmed by Ranaut’s words, the reporter gently told the actress that it was totally unfair on her part to speak like that  “Is it fair for you to write stuff like that?” Ranaut shot back. At this juncture, the reporter asked her what stuff was she talking about?

“You are bashing my film Mannikarnika. Have I done a mistake by making a film …You called me a jingoistic woman who is making a film on nationalism, is it my mistake to make a film on….,” chided Ranaut.

The journalist clarified that he has not written or tweeted anything against Ranaut or her film.  The journalist felt intimidated by her conduct.  The argument continued for a few more minutes with the journalist denying Ranaut’s claim of sitting in her vanity van for three hours, and later sending her some message.

Yours truly later spoke to the journalist who stated that Ranaut was perhaps upset with a question that he had asked her during Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi promotions.  Apparently, as told by the journalist, he had asked Ranaut her reaction to Manikarnika being released in Pakistan.

Early this year, Ranaut had criticised veteran actress Shabana Azmi and her writer husband Javed Akhtar for accepting an invitation for a cultural event in Pakistan. Akhtar and Shabana had later disclosed about cancelling their Pakistan trip after the 2019 terror attack in Pulwama, Kashmir that killed over 40 Indian soldiers.

Ranaut had slammed Pakistan after the Pulwama terror attacks even using words like ,’I will destroy Pakistan’. Ironically, though, Manikarnika producers had released the film in Pakistan. The journalist had reminded Ranaut of her reservation against Azmi and Akhtar’s accepting the invitation from Pakistan, but simultaneously sought a reaction to her film being released in [perceived] enemy territory.

Ranaut or any artiste has the right to refuse to comment but ironically, when asked about the ongoing tussle between her sister Rangoli Chandel and fellow actress, Taapsee Pannu, the Judgemental Hai Kya (2019) actress urged Pannu to have a thick skin.

Rangoli Chandel, Kangana’s equally feisty sister, had slammed Pannu for her ‘Kangana needing double filter’ comment in a video interview with Bollywood Hungama.  On 3 July, Pannu had praised the trailer of Judgemental Hai Kya but Rangoli Chandel had hit out at the Manmarziyaan (2018) actress for not mentioning her sister in her Tweet. Chandel even called Pannu a sasti [cheap] actress.

Ranaut was asked about the bizarre tweets by Chandel. The Queen (2014) actress stated that her sister was free to Tweet as she pleases, and she is no one to dictate anything to her.  Ranaut downplayed the Chandel-Pannu Twitter tussle, but urged Pannu to have a thick skin.

“If you can make fun of others, then you ought to be prepared to take it too. I don’t understand when the joke is on you, you become thin skinned,’ Ranaut said at the song launch.

What astounded the journalists present there is while Ranaut just downplayed the Rangoli-Taapsee Twitter tussle, but the actress didn’t show any thick skin, when she accused the journalist of running a smear campaign against her.

“I know how you are harming my brand.  You have been doing a smear campaign against me. Everybody knows that,” Ranaut alleged emphatically.  

Producer Ekta Kapoor stepped in to douse the flames.  Judgemental Hai Kya is set to be released on 26 July.

Watch Ranaut’s argument with the journalist below.

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