Navjot Gulati posts clarification on ‘sexist’ tweet against Kanika Dhillon: ‘Stop this mud-slinging’

'Navjot Gulati wrote a clarification on Twitter after Kanika Dhillon called his tweet sexist'. He claimed his concern was streaming platforms giving a due credit to the writers in the promotional material.

Writer-director Navjot Gulati reacted to the entire episode of his war of words with Kanika Dhillon, late on Monday. Taking to his Twitter account, Navjot wrote a long post explaining his side of the story, while also apologising to anyone who felt offended by his “sexist” remark against Kanika.

In his post, Navjot stressed that his comment was more against the streaming platforms, Netflix, who need to make a “uniform credit plate for all promotional trailers”. Navjot also added that he has actually been running a campaign demanding credit for the cast and crew in film and web series trailers on OTT.

“For almost two years i’ve been running a hashtag on Twitter called #NetflixCreditDedo, asking for a simple thing, credit the cast and crew in the trailer of the film/series because this is what we live for, to see our name in the credits of the stories we work really hard to tell the world. Today an esteemed Writer from the fraternity has called me a misogynist, sexist and what not. And wished i get brain fever. And then dragged my family into an issue which has been turned into a person brain fever. And then dragged my family into an issue which has been turned into a person PR-War. I’m being compelled to write this long-post to stop this mud-slinging,” an excerpt from Navjot’s note read.

In a previous tweet, Navjot also wrote, “My tweet was to criticise the Credit system by Netflix and i made an observation which was meant as a quip. I did not tag anyone. Nor did i want this to divert the attention from the main issue of Netflix not crediting cast and crew in the trailer. Especially Writers. It has been misinterpreted to be about sexism and misogyny. I myself liked the trailer of Haseena Dilruba. And in the past i’ve praised Manmarziya Written by same Writer.If by calling me names this issue reaches the powers to be then i’d be more than happy to be misunderstood. The main issue is still #CreditDedoNetflix. Thanks for dragging my sister and family into it, who had nothing to do with what I had said. I thought I was stupid, rest everyone here is so smart, woke, and kind. #GetWellSoonKanika.”

Navjot had on Monday written a tweet that did not go down well with Kanika Dhillon. The tweet spoke of Kanika’s “marriage into the production house” pointing at her husband Himanshu Sharma, who is the co-producer of Taapsee Pannu starrer upcoming murder mystery, Haseen Dillruba. Netflix had in its trailer, given a single slate credit to Kanika as the writer, which was lauded by many as a welcome move.

Post Navjot’s tweet, Kanika spoke to indianexpress.com and slammed the writer-director for his sexist, misogynist comment. She said, “I want to highlight it because this is something very nasty that has happened in the public domain and I won’t let it go. After being in the industry for so long, we have people like him who completely spit on your hard work. This has to stop at some point.”

Several B-town actors, writers and filmmakers came out in support of Kanika including, Taapsee, Jai Mehta, Bijoy Nabiar, Vivek Agnihotri, Atika Chouhan, Jyoti Kapur Das, Aniruddha Guha and others.

Taapsee tweeted, “A progressive call to credit a writer turned into a sexist rant by the age old misogyny of crediting a woman’s success to the house she marries in or the man she married. Your righteous call for equal credit can’t be overtaken by the bitterness in u.”

Kanika Dhillon, who has written movies like Manmarziyaan, Kedarnath, Judgementall Hai Kya and Guilty, has also penned the upcoming Raksha Bandhan starring Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar. The movie also happens to be her first professional collaboration with husband Himanshu.

I started Writing in the year 2009. In my 12 year old career i’ve gone through a lots of ups and downs. All through this journey i’ve supported a lot of upcoming Writers and spoken truth to the powers and fought for making sure that Writers are duly credited in promotional material of films released in cinemas. The result of being vocal against such things is that I’m very unpopular with most studios because they don’t like my guts. Ever Since the advent of digital, Netflix(and others) have come in-to the picture and now they decide how the business is run, who is given what credit and where. I’ve been part of 3 feature films in various capacities and all of them are on Netflix, two released post theatrical and one was a direct release. I remember my first feature film releasing in 2017 and entire Andheri coming to support it, more for me, than the film. I love cinema and my life revolves around it. In all these years i’ve still not been able to crack the code myself and made a remarkable feature film but i’ve always been a cheerleader for all my now famous friends from all genders. For almost two years i’ve been running a hashtag on Twitter called #NetflixCreditDedo, asking for a simple thing, credit the cast and crew in the trailer of the film/series because this is what we live for, to see our name in the credits of the stories we work really hard to tell the world. Today an esteemed Writer from the fraternity has called me a minsogynst, sexist and what not. And wished i get brain fever. And then dragged my family into an issue which has been turned into a person brain fever. And then dragged my family into an issue which has been turned into a person PR-War. I’m being compelled to write this long-post to stop this mud-slinging. My quip about a Writer needing to marry into the production house to get the credit we all writers deserve has been turned in to a gender war. I fully subscribe to the points being made by people all across but THIS is not about genders, feminism and sexism. It is about the technical crew of content which continues to be sidelined and treated like peasants by the powers. It is about platforms like Netflix, Prime, Hotstar, Zee5 and the likes start giving credits of the cast and crew in their promotional material. If my tweet If you want top billing as a Screenwriter in a trailer(something that should be the norm)You need to marry into the production house. Once the Writer becomes a family member, is treated like an Actor-Star. #Goals’ reads that it is about bringing down a fellow writer and taking away her hard-work then the problem is in the interpret-ion of the reader. I’m making it clear, once-it for all. My issues was and is #Creditdedonetflix and if yet anyone has felt offended by my remarks, i apologise to every person who felt so. And if what has happened today shakes up the powers at Netflix and they decide to make a uniform credit plate for all promotional trailers necessary then I’m more than happy to be called names from the esteemed Writer till any such time that we can actually have this basic demand met. #EndScene #M idnightmusingsbhimaanlochahotoh.

Navjot Gulati is known Jai Mummy Di (2020), Happily Ever After (2020) and more.

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