Remember the times when Karan Johar stood up for women and supported feminism while talking about item numbers in films?

“The moment you put a woman in the centre and a thousand men looking at her lustingly, it’s setting the wrong example. As a filmmaker, I have made those mistakes and I will never do it again,” he told SheThePeople in an interview in 2017. 

Those days seem to be long gone, especially after the ace director-cum-producer was seen laughing obnoxiously as cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul cracked misogynistic jokes one after the other on his popular show Koffee With Karan.

From sexist comments, rampant racism to sexual stereotyping of black men and gay jokes, the two cricketers and their illustrious host hit a new low. 

It all started when the “two young, talented, brat-pack cricketers” (that’s how Johar introduced them) started talking about dating and sex life. 

When Johar asked them who was most likely to be distracted by cheerleaders, Rahul hesitantly pointed towards himself, while Pandya had a very disapproving facial reaction. As if cheerleaders are not worth his time, as if they are way below him.

Wait, the worst is yet to come. Rahul quickly gave Pandya 'credit' by saying, “He has been with all of them (cheerleaders).”

Pandya didn’t disagree with that at all and rather said, “If I am going to get them afterward, what is the point of getting distracted during the match?”

Could't Johar stop them by saying getting multiple girls is not a cool quotient at all?

Pandya also proudly said he copy-pasted the same text to multiple women. He also justified his brusque treatment of women. Why should he send different texts when he “feels the same for them”? Pandya asked.

Well Mr Pandya, women are not objects. So stop treating them as one.

Johar laughed so hard at this distasteful joke that he almost choked!

Things get more unpleasant here onwards.

Johar asked the two Indian cricketers what happens if they are attracted to the same woman.  

Pandya replied, “We know that if we hit it, we will get it.”

Meanwhile, Rahul said that if both of them were attracted to the same woman, it is up to the woman to choose, to which Pandya snapped at him saying, “No no, nothing like that…” Talk about entitlement!

Pandya was not at all subtle with his sexist remarks. He even said that his Tinder bio would read “Let’s have fun”.

In the rapid fire round when the all-rounder cricketer was asked about his go-to pick-up line, he made a vulgar pun out of his name. 

Pandya’s choice of words was very problematic. Apparently, he told his parents when he lost his virginity, “Main aaj kar ke aaya hai, (I have come after doing it)”. Though we appreciate the frankness between parents and children, we cannot help but cringe at this proclamation. As if sex is a scoring ground.

Pandya also said that he likes observing women dancing at clubs and claimed that he had acquired this fetish from his “black side” and his inclination for West Indian culture. Well, if it was not stereotyping African-origin people as those having a higher sexual appetite, then what was it?

Apparently, when his parents asked him which girl he was attracted to at a party, he pointed towards all of them. “Wah!” said Pandya's parents.  

It is high time Pandya should be taught that women are not trophies.

Rahul and Pandya have not exactly set the stage on fire with their cricketing exploits for India in recent times. Pandya came back into the Indian side in the recently-concluded Test series against Australia but didn't feature in any of the matches. Rahul had a torrid time in the Test series, scoring one failure after another. This interview now would give the duo further bad press.         

The entire episode reeked of sexism and misogyny. But what was more jarring was Johar’s silence.

If feminism was in his DNA, which he claimed during a previous interview, how could he tolerate this nonsense?

Why could he not be passionate about the feminist cause as he had been passionate about nepotism and shut the two “brats” who 'graced' his couch up? He should have intervened before the two Indian cricketers started talking in a disturbing way.

Johar had once said that he was "raised by a wonderful and progressive woman, my mom and even my aunts”. We expected better from the filmmaker-producer while hosting Pandya and Rahul.