THE GRAPEVINE

September 15, 2019

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Quit Smoking

We must appreciate Sheheryar Munawar for saying that he wants to quit smoking because it’s a bad habit. The declaration came in the wake of the discussions that were generated after he posted photos on social media from the shoot of Parey Hut Love, in which he’s seen holding cigarettes in his hand (he is a smoker).

Indeed, smoking is injurious to health. However, it’s always easier to be wise in hindsight (or after the film has released). Next time, Sheheryar M, try and be proactive rather than reactive in your goodie-good assertions.

Muslim Marvel

This is the coolest report to have come out of Hollywood. Bisha K Ali is directing Ms Marvel, the first Muslim superhero series for Disney+, which will see the light of day on Nov 12. The character Kamala Khan (Ms Marvel) has shapeshifting and healing abilities, and actually it first appeared in Captain Marvel (2013).

Understandably, the announcement has made many in our part of the globe super happy, including actress Mehwish Hayat who feels “the tide is turning” in the entertainment industries of the West. Spot on. And girl, there’s likelihood that you will get a call to do that part for the movie version of it. Hai na?

To-Do List

There are always a few rolling-of-the-eyes and shake-of-the-head moments, and one of them happened recently when Priyanka Chopra (the actress who was condescending to a Pakistani girl not too long ago when she raised a pertinent question) said to a journo that getting pregnant was on her and hubby Nick Jonas’ ‘to-do list’.

Tell you what else should be on that list, madam: to be less arrogant and stop playing to an imagined Instagram gallery in the West. After all, you are (still) the UN’s ‘goodwill’ ambassador.

Hart Break

On September 1, comedian Kevin Hart met with a terrible car accident on a California highway when the driver of the vehicle, his friend Jared Black, lost control of the steering wheel and the car crashed into an embankment. The driver, Kevin H, and another fellow passenger (physical trainer of the comedian’s wife) received severe injuries.

Reports suggest that the star of Night School suffered three fractures to his spine and is in tremendous pain. Luckily, doctors say, he is likely to make a full recovery and it’s expected that there will be no partial paralysis of his arms and legs. We wish Kevin H and his friends a speedy recovery. Life, after all, is no joke.

Streaming Hindutva

Creative space in India is shrinking at the speed of light. It is tragic, to say the least. Last week, Shiv Sena, the right-wing Hindu nationalist party, filed a complaint with the police in Mumbai against Netflix for “defaming Hindus and India.”

In the complaint it claimed that shows such as Sacred Games, Laila and those by stand-up comedian Hasan Minhaj (seriously?) are painting an “incorrect picture of Hindus and India.” It called upon the police to take action against Netflix for “hurting Hindu sentiments.” And Shiv Sena thinks that, by taking action against the streaming online service-provider, it is painting the correct picture of India globally?

Go ahead.

Shoot yerself in the foot, will ya.

The Scarlett Letter

We are not sure how to react to this latest happening on the #MeToo front. Hollywood heartthrob Scarlett Johansson’s statement that she believes director Woody Allen (who is mired in a sex abuse scandal after his adopted daughter accused him of molesting her) and would work with him anytime, certainly, would not have gone unnoticed.

It didn’t take long for Dylan Farrow (Woody A’s adopted daughter with Mia Farrow) to criticise Scarlett H for saying that in a tweet which read: “… if we’ve learned anything from the past two years it’s that you should definitely believe male predators who ‘maintain their innocence’ without question. She has a long way to go in understanding the issue she claims to champion.” She sure does.

Published in Dawn, ICON, September 15th, 2019