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Wazir Faces Trouble From Disability Group, Team Says 'Don't Mean Malice'

  | January 05, 2016 20:54 IST (New Delhi)
Wazir

A still from Wazir.

Wazir's writer Abhijat Joshi said: " There's not one percent malice towards anyone", while Mr Chopra said: "How can he have malice? Our character is that (paralysed). Amitabh Bachchan is playing that. We don't mean malice"

Disability Rights Group (DRG), led by disability rights activist Javed Abidi, on January 5, condemned Wazir director Bejoy Nambiar's remarks on "limiting" Amitabh Bachchan's persona in a wheelchair. The film's team has apologised for hurting sentiments, if any.

DRG demanded an apology for Mr Nambiar's "disparaging" statement wherein he spoke about Big B's portrayal as a paralysed chess Grandmaster.

Mr Nambiar had said: "Right from the beginning, we knew that the protagonist had to be on a wheelchair. Casting Mr Bachchan, who has got such a strong persona and limiting him in a wheelchair, was a big task for us to get used to."

DRG on Tuesday issued a statement that Mr Nambiar's comments are "disparaging and extremely condescending towards people with disabilities, and highlights his complete lack of knowledge and extremely archaic and derogatory perspectives that he has on disability".

On their part, the team of Wazir which also consists of co-writers Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi have apologised, but also clarified that "no malice" was ever intended.

The director told IANS: "I have no clue (about the issue). That's the character he's (Big B is) playing. What is so wrong in what I'm saying?"

Mr Joshi said: "Absolutely nothing offensive was meant, that can be assured. There's not one percent malice towards anyone", while Mr Chopra said: "How can he have malice? Our character is that (paralysed). Amitabh Bachchan is playing that. We don't mean malice."

Mr Chopra, who is also a producer of the movie, said that they "apologise if somebody's sentiments are hurt".

DRG's convenor Javed Abidi, a wheelchair user for over 30 years, had said that he was "extremely shocked to read Mr Nambiar's statement", which reflected a "regressive image of a person with disability in his mind".

He expressed hope: "No matter what, from now onwards and upto the release of the film and beyond, in all the publicity and promotion of the movie, acute care must be taken that this kind of derogatory language is not used ever again".

Wazir, which also stars Farhan Akhtar and Aditi Rao Hydari, is a revenge saga and a thriller with a unique friendship at its core. It releases on Friday. (Also Read: Farhan Akhtar on His 'Favourite Scene' From Wazir)



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