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The Karan Johar playbook: the open secret, male same-sex sexuality, and the 'big-brand' in Bollywood

Luther, Daniel (2021) The Karan Johar playbook: the open secret, male same-sex sexuality, and the 'big-brand' in Bollywood. South Asian Popular Culture, 19 (2). 193 - 214. ISSN 1474-6689

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14746689.2021.1940552


This paper critically contextualizes the open secret of Karan Johar’s sexuality as a key marketable commodity in the neoliberal framework of the ‘KJo’ brand. It examines the cultural legibility of the open secret of his sexuality. It argues that the juxtaposition between the ubiquity of his open secret and his maintained silence on identifying his sexuality serves as an incitement that enables a study of his role in incrementally making space for a depoliticized and individualized upper-class male same-sex sexuality. By mapping the textuality of his open secret in the culture industry surrounding the Hindi film industry this paper offers a nuanced critique of the co-option of male same-sex sexuality by Karan Johar and its deployment as a gimmick.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2021 13:33
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 19:18

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