Soon after filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt released the first poster of his comeback directorial feature Sadak 2, starring daughters Alia Bhatt and Pooja Bhatt, it was met with massive trolling and hatred. The film which was scheduled to release in cinemas on July 10, will now directly release on OTT service Disney+HotstarVIP.

Ever since the suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput last month, Bhatt has been at the receiving end of hate on social media, like many Bollywood celebrities and bigwigs who have been accused of promoting nepotism and scuttling the chances of outsiders.

Following the announcement and release of the poster, netizens and fans of the late actor unleashed their anger and hatred in the comment sections on different social media platforms and called for audiences to boycott the film. While Alia and Mahesh limited the comment section on Instagram, only allowing those who they follow to comment, Mahesh did not do the same on Twitter, following which he received a barrage of hate comments on the microblogging platform.

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Reacting to his tweet, netizens slammed the filmmaker, holding him responsible for Sushant’s deteriorating mental condition and threatened to boycott Sadak 2.

“Guy who declared 26/11 as RSS ki Sazish and his own son helped terrorists to identify the places, tried to declare Sushant as mentally unstable, having a relationship with lady younger than his daughter, lowest scum possible…Don’t know why this guy is not in jail,” declared a social media user.

“When you put END to someone’s life intentionally, you’ll soon release your END,” wrote another user.

“We are not interested… get lost,” retorted another user.

A user responded by sharing the poster of Sushan’s upcoming last film Dil Bechara, which will also be released on Disney Hotstar instead of cinemas. Sushant’s fans also began to trend the hashtag #JusticeforSushantSinghRajput on social media.

However, Alia’s co-actor Aditya Roy Kapur, who shared the poster without limiting the comment sections was met with heavy trolling and hate speech aimed at Mahesh and Alia.

Sadak 2 is a follow-up of Bhatt’s 1991 hit Sadak and is produced by his brother Mukesh Bhatt. The sequel reunites the original film’s lead pair of Sanjay Dutt and Pooja Bhatt and also stars Alia and Aditya. The film also marks Mahesh’s return to filmmaking after 20 years.

Meanwhile, Disney+Hotstar also received flak for not giving equal representation to all the films releasing on the platform at their virtual press conference. While Alia, Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Varun Dhawan and Akshay Kumar were in attendance, Kunal Kemmu or Vidyut Jammwal were not invited, leading to online criticism. Both the actors also expressed their reservations and disappointment on social media.