Actor Kunal Kapoor feels there is a “horrible tendency of propagating stereotypes” in the Indian film industry. He says it’s especially disturbing to see a stereotypical presentation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community onscreen.
The actor hopes for a change with films like “Aligarh” and “Kapoor & Sons” setting new trends.
“We have more and more cinema, around the LGBT Community and for far too long this community hasn’t been framed correctly. There are many more real life stories that lack appropriate narratives. Also, because films have a horrible tendency of propagating stereotypes which needs to be broken,” Kunal said in a statement.
The “Rang De Basanti” actor – who was recently in Delhi to support Delhi International Queer Theater and Film Festival (2016) – also revealed that he was offered a gay character, but he turned it down as it was “propagating the stereotype”.
“I remember about 7-8 years back that I was offered a film which required me to play a gay character. The story was told is such a manner which was very disturbing. It was propagating the stereotype. Making something look normal and something look abnormal is something that the society is good at propagating,” he said.
The actor added that “we all have friends and family that are from the LGBTQ Community”, so there is nothing different about them.
“Most importantly, it’s very disturbing when cinema propagates it,” he said.
Kunal — best known for his roles in films like “Hattrick”, “Welcome to Sajjanpur”, “Don 2” and “Kaun Kitne Paani Mein” — lauded some recent films.
“Now, when we have movies like ‘Kapoor & Sons’ and ‘Aligarh’ which has treated this subject with such sensitivity and in such a beautiful way, I think it’s absolutely great. It spreads a lot of awareness and cinema is a very powerful tool. It needs to be used in the right way,” said the actor, who will soon be seen in trilingual epic historical drama film “Veeram”.
Kunal, who is the co-founder of online fundraising website Ketto, feels it will take some time for the “barriers to be knocked down”.