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Pooja Bhatt upset with double standards on ‘Quantico’ row

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Mumbai, June 12: Filmmaker-actress Pooja Bhatt has come out in support of Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, who is facing criticism over a scene in American TV show “Quantico”.

Priyanka had apologized for an episode on the show, portraying Indian nationalists as terrorists who were trying to frame Pakistan in a terror plot.

“When Priyanka Chopra makes a mark for herself internationally, we claim her achievements as our own and then threaten to ban her films and make her apologize for a work of fiction that has been created by someone else. Can we please attempt to be larger than that?” Pooja tweeted on Monday.

In the episode, Priyanka, who plays Alex Parrish, is an anti-terrorist officer who plots a nuclear attack in Manhattan to frame Pakistan for it, just days before an India-Pakistan summit is to be held. The episode drew intense criticism from Indian fans.

After ABC issued an apology, Priyanka said sorry too.

“I’m extremely saddened and sorry that some sentiments have been hurt by a recent episode of ‘Quantico’. That was not and would never be my intention. I sincerely apologize. I’m a proud Indian and that will never change,” Priyanka had tweeted.

IANS

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Joe Jackson hospitalized, in final stages of terminal cancer

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Los Angeles, June 23: Joe Jackson, father of Michael, Janet and the performing family, and architect of The Jackson 5, is in the final stages of terminal cancer, a source close to the situation confirmed to Variety.com.

Family members, including his wife Katherine, are said to have visited him in the hospital this week, reports the website.

Jackson, 89, has suffered from a variety of ailments in recent years, including dementia, strokes, and at least one heart attack, according to reports. He was injured in a car accident a year ago.

The famously headstrong Jackson, the father of 11 children, drove his performing family hard and at times subjected them to physical and mental abuse; the original Jackson 5 included sons Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael, although younger sibling Randy also performed with the group and daughters LaToya, Rebbie, and, most famously, Janet also released albums.

Over the decades, Joe has had a contentious relationship with many family members, including Michael.

The Daily Mail claims that Jackson’s “handlers” had barred certain family members from visiting him, which son and former Jackson 5 member Jermaine spoke about to the paper.

The Jackson family patriarch has lived in Las Vegas for several years. One of his most recent public appearances was at the BET Awards in 2015, attending with his daughter Janet as she accepted the ultimate icon award. That same year, he suffered a stroke that reportedly left him with temporarily blurred vision.

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The Importance Of Being Salman Khan

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There are basically two kind of actors. Those who get deeply affected by reviews. And those who pretend not to be affected by them.

There is, of course, a third category where an actor genuinely doesn’t care what the critics think or say. I am afraid there is only one member of this third super-elitist club — Salman Khan. He really doesn’t care what critics say. For a very long time he didn’t care about awards either and very openly said they were a farce.

That changed when Salman actually started winning awards. He stopped badmouthing them. I don’t think favourable reviews changed his opinion on critics and reviews. He got them in abundance –favourable reviews, I mean — for “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” and “Sultan”, two recent Salman-fests that I thought would change the course of his career.

But his opinion on critics — extended to a generic distrust of journalists — is too deeply embedded in his consciousness to change. I know. I have been at the receiving end of his contempt, wrath, ridicule and heckling till I reached a breaking point with him. My last conversation with Salman Khan took place some years ago when he opened the conversation by taunting me for a problem I had faced some time earlier.

It was a disastrous way to start a conversation. And very insensitive. But little did he care. He went on to heap insults on Vivek Oberoi and hung up. He then called back to ask if I was writing any of our conversation. Because if I was, he said he didn’t care.

“It is between you and your conscience,” Salman warned me.

I don’t think Salman cares even today what critics and journalists say and write about him. To that extent he hasn’t changed over the years. He has become more tolerant of certain institutions such as the law and the media because of his own experiences. He has also become less judgmental and opinionated.

Some years ago a highly regarded friend-turned-foe journalist was at the receiving end of Salman’s sneering campaign when Salman, just before their television interview, made smirking references to the journalist’s personal life. This had no bearing on the interview, no bearing on their professional conduct. Salman had no business bringing up the journalist’s personal life.

Here is what the unspoken deal between a superstar, specially a superstar called Salman Khan and the media is: he can say and do what he likes. But the mediapersons must say and do what Salman likes.

The yes-men who surround him — and that includes the directors/music directors who are working with him — make it easy for Salman to believe he is always right in his attitude, and by extension, in his selection of roles. No one would tell him that “Race 3” is a disgraceful addition to his repertoire of films, specially at this juncture of his career when he has a captive audience to experiment with roles and to extend the frontiers of his talent.

Sadly, we see Salman making no effort to further his skills as an actor in “Race 3”. Why should he, when the world is at his feet? In spite of the scathing reviews, “Race 3” has crossed the 100-crore mark during the first four days of release. Salman will rightly argue that the audience loves him and his cinema so why should he change his attitude towards his career or towards anything in his life?

After “Judwaa 2” released, I had asked David Dhawan how he reacted to criticism about his cinema being the same even after three decades?

“Why should I open the bonnet of my car when it is running smoothly?” David commented.

So while the critics are busy looking for new ways to insult Salman’s “Race 3”, he is already planning “Race 4” probably with more of everything we hated in the current film. What can you do about it?

IANS

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Truckers ‘postpone’ strike following request from centre

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Kolkata/New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Truckers on Friday “temporarily postponed” their ongoing indefinite nationwide strike following a request from the Central government as Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was out of station.

The strike, that began from June 18, had been called from June 18 against the high diesel prices, high toll rates and a sharp hike of third party insurance premium, and had entered the fifth day on Friday.

In a media release, All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners’ Association — which had called the strike — said the decision was taken following a telephone call from the Centre, which asked the strikers to come for discussion after June 27.

“We have received telephone call from (the) Central ministry, that since the Minister is not in station till June 27, (they have requested us) to call off the strike and come for discussion after June 27,” said AICOGOA General Secretary Rajendra Singh and President B. Channa Reddy.

“In view of this and in public interest, we have (decided to) postpone the truckers’ strike,” they said.

The AICOGOA said the call for talks was received from Gadkari’s office.

“We received call from Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s office and they have called us to talk… We have temporarily called off the strike because it was affecting truckers and people both,” another AICOGOA General Secretary Kausar Hussain told IANS.

Over 50 lakh vehicles remained off the road during the strike.

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