Yesterday, he penned down his thoughts in a column for NDTV and openly admitted to exercising nepotism, claiming that Bollywood is not running a social service.
"I agree and I accept that nepotism is a reality, that it exists," he writes.
"Nepotism is a result of easy access to an exceptional resource. I acknowledge that my father was a producer and that made my first film, even the idea of it, possible. But let's also not forget that I started as the son of a producer with five failures behind him. I entered the world of films as AD (Assistant Director) to a first-time director (and yes, it wound up being DDLJ, but we didn't know that then!). But still, even if I didn't recognize it as access at the time, that's what it was."
However, his acknowledgment of being nepotistic comes unapologetically.
He further explains why he favours children who hail from Bollywood families... because everyone else just isn't talented enough.
"When it came to Alia, I wasn't even talking to Mahesh Bhatt! I've even gone on record saying we had issues. We had auditioned 5,000 people and she was one of them. If there was anyone better than Alia Bhatt, she would have been in the movie, but there wasn't. She just stood out. Maybe her name played a role in why, but I think her body of work already proves that's not it," he wrote.
"Currently we're auditioning for Student of the Year 2 and we're not finding anyone! I swear the only girls who are not bad are those with a connection. I don't know why or how because we've tried everything to find a girl from Bangalore, from Delhi, but we can't make it happen! And everyone will call me nepotistic. Again!"
KJo added that he didn't necessarily only work with star kids.
"I have also launched Sidharth Malhotra who has nothing to do with anyone, but why bother mentioning that! And, by the way, Kangana has done a Dharma film. We have offered roles recently to Nawazuddin Siddiqui and to Irrfan Khan which they have turned down! And that's fine, I hope we'll be able to work together later."
He also clarified that he is not running a charity: "We're not NGOs! We are businesses with bottom lines and budgets. And tomorrow if I want to launch Shah Rukh Khan's son because he's Shah Rukh Khan's son and I believe I can gain from it, why won't I? I run a company, it's a balance of commerce and art, and both matter."
Having said that, the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai director urged the audience to do some self-reflection.
"While we’re on the subject, may I point out that while we can (and have) put the star onscreen, we cannot make the audience arrive. So if it is a nepotistic world, we’re not the only ones guilty of it. Taken a look at any entertainment website recently? They’re full of star kids. It’s all about Sara (Ali Khan) and Jhanvi (Kapoor) and Aryan (Khan) and Aarav (Kumar). They step out and they’re photographed, they’re the ultimate clickbait.”
This "If I am to blame, you are to blame" approach just goes to show that the filmmaker still doesn't get it.