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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  February 1, 2018 12:30am-1:01am GMT

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is in china, where she is expected to sign around $13 billion worth of trade deals. mrs may says she has won assurances that china will allow more access to its markets. the chinese government has forecast a golden era in trade relations. the former bbc china editor carrie gracie has told a committee of british mps that she was left feeling distraught when she learned how much more her male colleagues were being paid. she resigned over the issue. bbc management says it is committed to equal pay. and this video is trending on bbc.com: three lunar events have happened at the same time, giving people in some parts of the world a rare view of a supersized moon going through an eclipse. it is the first time it has happened for more than 30 years, and it happened during a blue moon — the second full moon in a calendar month. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, with me, zeinab badawi.
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my guest has been celebrated here at the world economic forum in davos. he's been given an award for his philanthropic work advancing women's rights. he's shah rukh khan, the bollywood superstar whose fan base runs into the billions. he says he wants to make the world a better place, but how far is he really using his voice to do that? shah rukh khan, welcome to hardtalk. thank you very much, zeinab, and thank you very much for having me over at hardtalk. very glad to have you. look, after graduating from the university of delhi, you dropped out of a masters degree in communications to become an actor. i take it you have no regrets? it was either being a journalist or being an actor, so i, i was actually training to be a film—maker.
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they didn't have a film—making course there. i'm really an actor by accident. i'm really an actor by accident because i went down and i said, ok, i'll start working in front of the camera because some people offered me a film. but behind the scenes i learned how to make ad films, i wanted to make advertising films. and when my wife, now wife, then just about to be wife, and my friends asked me, how long are you gone for? i said a year. that's it. and it's been 30 years now. the accidental actor. i'm the accidental actor. all right, well, your debut movie was romantic drama deewana in the early 1990s. and thereafter you very quickly established yourself as a very successful actor. you've made around 80 bollywood movies, ithink. about 65, 70, yeah. yeah, all right. which is your most favourite one? the next one. the next movie coming up. that the favourite one. every time it's the next one. really? when the one is finished,
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then it's over and done with. but i've done some really wonderful films, some really nice people i never expected to work with. mr yash chopra made a film called darr with me. where i was a bad guy. it's like kind of like cape fear. so i was... when i started off working i remember i remember this wonderful director calling me and i said, the reason you're interesting to work with is because you're very unattractive. and we can put you in any role and nobody will know. so i started off like that. so i did a lot of bad guy roles. i really enjoyed them. but you've really made your name as a romantic lead, i think. i don't know how, i'm shy with women, and then every time they keep giving me these roles and make me sing and dance. i'm, i'm really awkward with romance. but i guess acting is like that. what you really bad at is what you finally act out better, you know, it's that kind of line. your upcoming film this year is going to be zero, which is about a man who has, is of restricted height and falls in love with a very
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flamboyant woman. quite a departure for you. i just want to say, you said in 2015, we have to change the format of our films. i always say this, if i'm invited to your party i need to dress up in the code that you tell me to. do you think that bollywood films need to change in order to appeal to an audience beyond their current? they have two, they have two, i stick by this even till about four days ago i was having a bit discussion with some friends. and maybe i'm completely wrong, but this is my belief, that unless we change our screenplay technique, unless we make ourfilms shorter, and perhaps, yeah, you can have the musical part of it, but they have to be musical specific films. not every film can't have song and dance. let's just change these two things. because they're about two and a half hours long, and average... they're longer, they have an interval, they have three acts, films. it should be in two acts without an interval. your opinion changes, doesn't it, a bit, shah rukh khan. because in 2006 after spending a few months in la, london and new york
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you said, i found that our cinema is a little exaggerated, which, as you said now... but you said to make a mark in the west we have to reach their level without losing our identity, culture or songs. i don't want to star in a hollywood film, but want to make a film that crosses over universally. it sounds like you're trying to have the best of both worlds, and you really do that? maintain your culture and identity? this is personally me, because i don't think i'd be able to participate in a crossover film where we need to change. if you need to. i meet my friends and they say, look, we need to take the film international. if you take the film international you have to make it for 90 minutes without songs. would have to be more character driven, would have to be extremely screenplayed like, you know, i've sat in london cinema theatres with friends and english people who are like... you have an interval? there's a second half, there two halves to a film? which itself is, you know, if you're looking for an international audience, personally, when people ask me what do i enjoy doing most, i like doing what i'm doing. singing and dancing.
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really? but you say i don't want to star in hollywood film. really? also i wasn't offered to many, so that was the best way to say it! i don't want to star in a hollywood film. you're repeatedly the second best paid actor in the whole world whatever nationality. i wish! well, your way up there anyway. you're not complaining are you? i need to tell you a story, then we'll go on with this. i was driving down to my office, i was making a film, which was called happy new year. very expensive film. we had to create this whole visual effect, of this world dance championship in dubai. so i was driving down and my producer called me and he said, we have no money. and i said, yeah, so what do i do? can i make some visits to someplace and do some openings so i can get some money? and he said, yeah, we really need to, because we don't have money, otherwise we'll have to borrow. and i reached my office and i put on my phone and while i was trying to find out ways to earn money to finish my film, this came out, that i'm the second richest actor in the world. was it news to you?
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it was news to me, and i stick by it. please continue saying it, it feels good. but you're not complaining are you? i'm not complaining at all. you've made a lot of money. i've made a lot of money. from many films. i always wanted to be rich, i always wanted to be famous. i come from a very, very, very poor background. given a chance, i'll do it all over again. i'm just so happy being a star and so rich. but you have said that with that fame and wealth comes responsibilities. and you are here at davos at the world economic forum where you've been celebrated for your work and philanthropy, you received the crystal award. and you say you are committed to improving the state of the world and, in particular, the rights of women in your native india. but are you using your voice loudly enough, shah rukh khan? no, i don't think so. you know, i have been, as i should be, extremely self—centred for a lot many years because i needed to do what i do. like a regular guy, i want to make a lot of money, i want to be famous, i want to do myjob. i'm sensitive because i'm an actor, or the other way round. there always has been two thoughts
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about turning around and doing something for the community for, you know, service to others. and i don't think i've done enough. every time i've been asked upon, to do something, lend my voice to a project, i go ahead and do it. but personally i always felt i should get into something that i really feel for, and i want to do it without talking about it. being here at davos is also awkward for me, when i'm talking about the foundation that i set up three years back. but then... that's the meer foundation, named after your father. i think over the years i came to a conclusion, which was only four or five years back, to be honest, and like you said, i haven't used my voice enough, not at all. but now you've said at davos, to disfigure a woman by throwing acid on herface is to me, one of the basest, crudest acts of subjugation imaginable. at the source of it lies the view that a woman does not have the right to assert her choice. why did you choose this cause, acid attack survivors? a couple of things happened. you know, i'm surrounded by beautiful women. like you said, i'm a romantic hero and i'm working with the most beautiful women in the world.
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my life is surrounded by women. then i came across a couple of them, who were victims, who have been oppressed, who have been subjugated like this, and is very hurtful. i was scared to see them initially. you know, personally. because they've been disfigured. and what i found was that i should go there and, you know, perhaps be charitable. i realised they don't that, they need solidarity. i thought you know, i can be this narcissistically compassionate person and turn around and say, look, i'll look after you, and i realised they don't need that. is this part of a much wider problem? we know that women in india suffer all sorts of discrimination. 0nly12% of members of parliament in india are female, only 5% of women said they have the right to choose who they want to marry. i can go on and on with those statistics. 80% need permission to go and access health care. why do you think that's the state of affairs for women in india? what are these barriers? except for the way, perhaps, women can come out now and talk in the west, i think the state of women has been this
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categorisation of women, by men of society. and defining it so strongly. i think it's what the fight for women, of women, against is all over. it is in india also and it is, i'm sure, injapan also, and in england also, america also. and that is why somebody who's only working with women, i was like, i have to do something, one which i feel for. and try to again, uplift through my work and all i can. just stand with them. listen, you work in an industry which, to put it bluntly, bollywood, is sexist. men get paid more than the women. we've heard about the #metoo campaign in hollywood. that kind of thing must go on. we know it does because some actors have actually talked about that. kangana ranaut is one of the few bollywood actresses whose publicly spoken about the sexual assault and harassment. she told reuters, i faced severe sexual exploitation and harassment at the workplace. have you witnessed this kind of thing, have you done anything about it?
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you know, i mean, personally at a level where i'm making films or working in films, we are very clear about the attitude to women, even the smallest aspects of the names coming in the title first, which is not going to do anything, but the kind of respectability. that's the thing you started a few years ago. so that your female co—star, her name appears before yours. that's just an empty gesture isn't it? it is. you don't have to push me too far to agree to this. it's a way of trying to say, even this, small thing, needs to be done, just to bring about equality, see what we've reduced ourselves to. to put a girl's name in front to show, look, guys, we are thinking of them as equals. and that is sad.
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and that is strangely dichotomous when you're talking about creativity. the boys and girls working together. i've never personally... nobody dare miss behave with a woman on my set. i'm very clear on that. and your fellow actors haven't in the past said to you, you know what, shah rukh this and that happen to me? 0r... it hasn't come... i've been close to the women i've worked with, nobody has said this. i never personally been told. on my set. you know, zeinab, maybe it also stems from the fact, i'vejust been... my mother, my sister, my wife, my daughter, i've just been with women, so i've been brought up by women. you say that, but yet, you know, you have starred, as i said, as the romantic lead in so many bollywood films. to put it frankly, you know, the women's characters revolve around yours. there are many scenes where there are scantily clad women without any real link to the plot. they don't have to be dressed like that. are you comfortable starring, having starred in such films, yet here you are advocating women's rights? i'm most comfortable having starred in those films.
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and none of them, i mean, i'm trying to quickly see if there was a scantily clad woman in my film. i've spoken to indian people here at the world economic forum and they say these other films that shah rukh khan has acted in. everything revolves around him and... the women gain salvation if she, you know, ends up marrying you. no, zeinab, you asked the wrong people. my films, everything revolves around the woman. i revolve around the woman. in every film. i run after her, i please... let me hit you with this bit of research. from 2012 from the university of louisville in the us, which found commercial hindi films portray ideal women as submissive, self—sacrificing, chased and controlled, while the bad women as individualistic, sexually aggressive, westernised and not sacrificing. it's got a lot of data that kind... i don't do typical hindi films. still, you might be tarred with the same brush even if you say,
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well, i don't do that kind of film. 100% there is a portrayal of women which needs to change in every aspect, not only indian films. 0ne tries to as much as one can through i's work. but yes, it exists, i mean, there is no denying it. yes, this categorisation of humanity and women, you know, submissive, always trying to define them in society really so they are subservient to men, continues. and it does. but those are not the cinemas you look at. you can look at the sign and say, this is such a depressive, oppressive way of portraying women, or you can look at the other side. we make 1000 films, and you know, even if you're making 500 awful ones and 500... 50 good ones... where this has been tried to change, it's not just that the cinema is promoting it. society believes in this.
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and it's being portrayed in cinema. and it is changing. that is the question. it's a very interesting thing you raise. should bollywood films, yourfilms in particular, mirror society and reflect what their opinions are, or should we try to lead and reform opinion on harmful, negative stereotypes? i think it should do both. cinema should do both. it should not does become one that i'm going to change the society. some cinema should do that and some cinema should reflect society and take on things from real life, so that you can identify with them. i just read somewhere a couple of days ago, every artform is a lie but it is going towards proving some truth. so one lie would be mirroring society, the other one would be where you are trying to tell them to change it. so both kinds should happen. but the most commercially successful ones are going to be the ones that don't upset the apple cart too much. you have said we need to realise this is a business at the end of the day.
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however much you may think it's a creative field. so there's no point making a film that's too challenging and that it just bombs, it doesn't do well. yeah. it would... depending on how much of a challenge you take, the last five films of mine have bombed. have they? which will not make me turn around and do the typical film still. all right. you said last november that you believe in storytelling. he said, i believe no matter what your language, no matter what country you're story comes from, no matter what your ideology is, storytelling and listening should be a familiar experience which binds us all together, makes relationships stronger, even in the face of dissent and discussion. could that refer to some of the intercommunal tensions and divisions that we see in modern day india? you see, i think that is essential. there will be dissent for everything. you would also believe, like we all believe, there has to be a discussion on it.
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there can't be a radical, you know, stand—off when there is dissent. i think if you can have a discussion and you talk about, in our country we are the biggest democracy. and if you're the biggest democracy, dissent is part and parcel of that. and, as much, is discussion. so when you have a story and, when you go out, sometimes there is dissent. as a film—maker, as a citizen of a country, as a citizen of the world, can we just have a bit of discussion about it and sort it out instead of taking, you know, stand—off positions? so it is possible. are you worried about stand—off positions, as you put it? because there is a current of opinion, i've heard it expressed here at davos from indian delegates i've talked to about, you know, there is a certain tension. some people feel that there is a kind of hindu nationalism that really is not fostering good intercommunal ties. no, i don't think so.
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i was just telling people outside, because of social media, you know, whenever a certain thing you know, small factions or fractions of things happen, they seem a little bigger. but the beauty of all of this is within all this trolling and anger and people expressing themselves, they are all also connecting. so i feel this is, we're on the cusp of something amazingly inclusive and integrating in this kind of dissent. ijust see it on social media, i haven't seen it live anywhere. i would be wrong to comment on it that way. if you have this kind of dissent, if people claim it, just a bit of discussion, finally, if it's not going to be inclusive, everybody will suffer. i think we are not in that stage at all in our country. you've tended to act most in yourfilms as a non—muslim indian but in the last, in recent years,
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your last few films, my name is khan, for instance, in 2010, you're an indian muslim man with asperger‘s syndrome, takes a challenge to speak to the us president seriously and embarks on a cross—countryjourney. is your muslim identity becoming more relevant to you now? no, no, no, i've neverfelt that. i think being an artist, i think, these things should be the last on your mind. the only film which required me to play muslim was my name is khan, because it was a film like that, it was talking about the relationship of islam with the western world. the others are by chance. i read this article, some lady wrote it. i was really taken aback, i hadn't even realised it myself. dear zindagi, and raees, which is the third one and i'm muslim in it. suddenly, she's like, is shah rukh‘s now trying to put his identity forward. no, not at all, there was nothing of that sort. i didn't realise it.
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but there is controversy attached, because you just mentioned raees 2017, your co—star, meera khan, a pakistani actor, hasn't it even been allowed to come to india to promote the film with you because there was this tension between india and pakistan. you see, whenever there is tension between india and pakistan, whenever there is tension, cricketers don't come to play any more. so whenever there's tension, i think there was at that point in time. as an artist, as an artist it's really sad because, you know, i think what everyone talks about should cross boundaries. and we should be inclusive and it's about love and sharing. but you know, when emotions run high, sometimes you don't do things that you would like to because, i think it's just safer and nicer and say, listen, we're artists, we don't want to get into part of dissent. but you get caught up in it and that was all, that's the point. she still can't go and promote the film. the easiest part of it is to just step back, you're
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an artist, just release your film, let people see, and realise there's nothing wrong. in the long run i think this will get sorted. do you? yeah. now you've got a problem with padmavat, which is a film, and it's about a 14th century hindu queen and a muslim ruler. fictitious film. but it's caused all sorts of fuss, you know. went to the supreme court in india because people didn't want it shown and the supreme court says, no, it can be shown, freedom of speech and so on. some cinemas said but we're not going to show this film because we're worried about violence. i mean surely you as, even though you say it's not relevant to your identity, the fact you're not only an indian actor, icon, you're also a muslim indian icon, you should be commenting on this kind of issue. i take comment on the art part of it. and if i put any identity of me forward, even indian muslim identity, it's wrong. because as an artist i should talk as an artist and, as an artist, think whenever a film comes out, like we just talked about, if there
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is dissent, hopefully with discussion it will end. so i hope it ends with padmavat also. i think there have been a lot of discussions on it. the other thing i don't want to do through your show is give any credibility and more conversation to a product which has already been conversation for three months and confused issues further. i hope you know, at the end of it all, a film—maker or an actor or an artist, the only thing they want is the artwork is something that you can watch and enjoy at ease. so i wish for everybody‘s film, i've had these issues sometimes, you know, without realising, it seems i may have offended someone, i've changed it. i have no problems changing it because it's not a compromise, because this freedom of speech, expression... you, if you make little changes, if it's not going to... it should not hurt you, my art should not irk you and disturb you. but i asked you in the context of women's rights whether you would use your voice more loudly to try and promote women's rights and i put it to you that perhaps you ought to do that as it is a very famous muslim icon, notjust an indian icon. you said a little while
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ago, couple of years ago, if there is a message i want to give, it would be good if there is no discrimination on the basis of religious caste, creed, sex or gender. would be good if there is no discrimination on the basis of religious caste, creed, sex or gender. do you accept perhaps you should be using your voice? yes, just as a human being, not as a muslim icon or a movie star or an indian, just as a human being i should be using it louder, i should be using it more often, i should use... i need to make myself a little more useful to this world. inshallah i will. and i'll try my best in whatever way i can, and i think they do it, but none of us, i think, in the world, do enough. that is not an excuse not to do more. your father, meer khan, was a great admirer of mahatma gandhl he believed in unity, diversity, he was a devout muslim. you named your foundation after him. does his belief, his philosophy, inspired you now? the philosophy that inspired me to do meer foundation
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is the philosophy that might, i said this today and yesterday, my sister, my wife, and my daughter have taught me. they've brought me up well so that i have to request, i have to implore, sometimes beg, for a yes. never force a woman for a yes. i think that philosophy is behind meer foundation. where i really want to get, in which evidence, help out the woman, who has not been given the choice to say no, or be able to assert her choices, a little more effectively, get out of the sole definition that society, you know, women's only problem is we are defining them too much. they just want to be defined by themselves. if i can be part of that movement, part of that help, i think the three women in my house and the women that i work with, they are really helping me find this path and inshallah i'll be able to take it further. shah rukh khan thank you very much indeed for coming on hardtalk.
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thank you. hello. it will be a cold and frosty start this thursday morning. we have had bands of rain, sleet and snow working eastwards. there is a met office be prepared ice warning in the uk. the added complication with snow continuing in the north. there could be a smattering of snow initially. the showers are running in behind. in scotland they will fall as snow and the hills of northern ireland as well. coupled with the wintry showers, gale force winds, severe gales in the north—east of scotland. it will be bitterly cold.
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the snow showers will blow around. there will be further showers for the north—west of england, parts of wales, the south—west, into the home counties, potentially as well. there could be rain and sleet here and snow where the hills. the risk of it being slippery. the showers could come in and wash off the salt on the roads and pavements. it does look as though it will be a slippery affair in places. away from the showers, a sparkling day. plenty of sunshine around. showers interspersed with sunnier spells. look at the strength of the wind. into single figures, but the wind will add a significant chill factor if you are out and about with those gales in the north and east. continuing through the coming night, easing a little in western areas and continuing to push in those showers. and other cold start on friday. severe frost because of the strength of the wind. a subtle change in wind direction will bring showers to eastern parts
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of england during friday. further west, fewer showers. a dry day, more sunshine around. slightly less cold. still feeling cold. into the weekend, we have complications. this weather system coming into cold air. this is across the balkans. in italy, we have the rugby taking place here on sunday. saturday looks like a bleak day. cold rain or cold sleet and snow, particularly in the north, possibly further south. there is some uncertainty. we will keep you posted on that. it looks as though there will be cold rain for wales and the match against scotland, perhaps bit drier in paris. wintry weather not to be ruled out. it might be dry for england's match against italy in rome. we have to clear the low pressure out of the way. 0ur rain, sleet, and snow mix well is on the way through the course of sunday. we pick up the bitterly cold wind across south—eastern areas. more sunshine and drier weather across the west. frosty nights.
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ice to watch out for through the morning. goodbye. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. the british prime minister theresa may has big gun a three—day visit to china by meeting the chinese prime minister, li keqiang keqiang. the fbi says it has "grave concerns" about a report thought to outline alleged surveillance of the trump presidential campaign team. i'm babita sharma in london. i was so distraught. then i thought i have to fight.
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