Like every year, 2016 witnessed several controversies creating buzz in the Telugu film industry. Balakrishna, Puri Jagannath, Pawan Kalyan, Junior NTR, Mahesh Babu, Allu Arjun, Rashmi Gautami, Tamil director Hari, Rajadhi Raja, Vangaveeti and A...Aa made headlines for all wrong reasons this year.
1. Puri Jagannadh controversy: Puri Jagannadh registered a case against three distributors – Kaali Sudheer, Mutyala Ramdas and Abhishek -- at the Jubilee Hills police station in April. In his complaint, the director claimed that they had allegedly assaulted, harassed and tried to extort money from him stating that they had suffered financial losses from Loafer. But the distributors said that they were not in the city when the incident took place.
2. Balakrishna sexist comment controversy: Balakrishna sparked controversy after making a sexist comment at the audio release function of Nara Rohit's Savitri in March. Addressing the event, he had said, "If I play eve-teasing roles, and just follow girls, my fans will not accept. Either a kiss should be given or they should be made pregnant. That's all. We have to commit ourselves." Balayya later apologised for the comment, when it drew criticism. Besides apologising, he said his remark was not intended to hurt anyone.
3. Lepakshi Utsavalu invitation controversy: Nandamuri Balakrishna held Lepakshi Utsavalu in Hindupur earlier this year. He invited many celebs from the film industry for the first edition of the event, but ignored megastar Chiranjeevi. When quizzed about it, he replied in a crude manner, which drew a lot of criticism.
4. Cheppanu Brother controversy: Pawan Kalyan fans proved to be big headache for Telugu celebs, especially stylish star Allu Arjun, who had encountered them in a couple of events. Allu Arjun faced the ire of the fans as he did not chant "Jai Powerstar" during the Sarrainodu function. The fans lost no time to trend #ChoosukuntamBrother. However, Bunny decided to silence them once and for all at the audio launch of Oka Manasu. He said that he loved and revered Pawan Kalyan just like them but they can't disrupt the functions of celebs of the mega family or other celebs with their rogue behaviour.
5. Floputsavam controversy: Mahesh Babu's Brahmotsavam bombed at the box office and its failure was trolled by the fans of his rival stars. An English daily published an article featuring funny memes, which irked Mahesh's fans, who staged a demonstration protesting against this objectionable feature.
6. Rashmi Gautami controversy: Rashmi Gautam of Jabardast fame was upset with director Kalyan for using the misleading content to promote the movie anthem. In an interview, she said that she accepted the film as its content was good, but the makers were promoting misleading content. Hence, she did not take part in its publicity.
7. Tamil director Hari controversy: It was rumoured that director Hari would direct Junior NTR in an action thriller for which he was paid Rs 5 crore as remuneration. When quizzed about it during S3 promotion, the director asked "Who is NTR?" This incident had upset the fans of NTR. However, in a later interview, Hari changed his tone and said that it was publicised in a negative way. He was a fan of Jr NTR and watched his movie Temper twice. He also admitted meeting the latter and narrating a story to him.
8. Baahubali 2 war scene leak controversy: A video featuring a war scene from SS Rajamouli's Baahubali 2 was allegedly leaked online by a member of its technical team. The alert makers were successful in taking the footage off from the internet in time. The technicians was arrested by the police after the makers filed a complaint. However, the incident had created panic and fear about secrecy among the film unit.
9. Reddy community angry with Tollywood: A..Aa courted controversy for featuring a comedy character with Reddy tag. The character, which happened to be a thief, triggered unrest from this community. Finally, the A.Aa team succumbed to pressures and removed the caste indicator in the film.
10. Rajadhi Raja controversy: Director Charan blamed actor Sharwanand for the failure of his Telugu movie Rajadhi Raja at the box-office. He alleged that the actor did not attend a single promotional event of the movie and should take responsibility for its failure. However, a source close to Sharwa said there was no point in releasing the Telugu version more than a year later. He was not paid his remuneration fully, but still dubbed for it.
11. Vangaveeti controversy: Ram Gopal Varma's Vangaveeti, which is a biopic of Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga who was killed in gang wars of Vijayawada during 1988, landed in controversy from the date of its announcement. Ram Gopal Varma met members of the Vangaveeti and Devineni families before its release, but the meeting did not go well. However, the filmmaker refused to compromise on the movie and released it amidst protests across Vijayawada.
12. Pawan Kalyan's fan's murder controversy: Vinod Kumar, who was an active member of Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena party, attended an organ donation drive in Kolar, Karnataka. During his speech, he shouted slogans in support of Pawan, which did not go down well with Junior NTR fans, who got into an argument with him. Other guests tried to calm them down. Later in the evening, Vinod and his friends had another argument with NTR fans Sunil and his friend Akshay Kumar at a bar and an angry Akshay stabbed Vinod with a knife.
13. Nannuku Prematho release controversy: Pawan Kalyan lodged a complaint with the Producers' Council against producer BVSN Prasad A day before the release of Nannuku Prematho. He alleged that the producer had not payed a portion of his remuneration for Attarintiki Daredi. This was perceived as a deliberate attempt to stay the release of NTR's movie. The matter was latter settled by the producer.
14. A Aa plagiarism controversy: Soon after the release of "A...Aa,", it was rumoured that Trivikram Srinivas allegedly copied the story from Yaddanapudi Sulochanarani's novel Meena, but did not give due credit in the title card. But the director quickly responded to the controversy and said that he had given her credit, but it didn't appear due to some technical issues.
15. VN Aditya controversy: It was rumoured that director V N Aditya, who was facing problems in his career, left for USA and was staying there even after the expiry of his visa. He had deserted his wife and sons, who were then struggling to make ends meet in Hyderabad. However, Aditya was shocked to read the rumours and took to his Facebook account to lash out at the reporter, who started the speculation.