"They did ruin a lot of people."
Arbaaz Khan has claimed that the trolling Bollywood stars received during 2020 was part of a planned campaign.
In the aftermath of Sushant Singh Rajput‘s tragic death, several stars were abused online.
Several actors were also dragged into the case, including Arbaaz.
He has now opened up on the matter, saying the trolling affected their careers as well as their mental health.
Arbaaz said: “It’s a difficult place to be in mentally… This is the herd mentality like something just happens in a flow, like a trend.
“It’s like a wave and there’s no explanation.
“So, when you start getting backlash for something, you have no clue and the devastation it causes along the way, you are left asking, ‘For what?’
“You are like what is this bandwagon that people have jumped onto?
“What happened in the last one and one-and-a-half years was ridiculous.”
He went on to say that the trolling affected a lot of people.
“What were they trying to achieve and who were they trying to run down? They did ruin a lot of people.
“The ones who could keep their necks above the water survived but if they (trolls) could help it, they would push their head down and drown them.
“A lot of people have suffered psychological damage and professional damage from it and it’s unfounded.
“We are having trials of people in media when there are courts in the country.”
Throughout 2020, one of the main allegations against Bollywood was that it was a hub for “rampant drug use and sex”.
However, Arbaaz Khan dismissed the allegations and said it was part of a campaign and had been “instigated”.
He added that the trolling happened on accounts with just a few followers as opposed to accounts with lots of followers.
Arbaaz continued: “Up till now there were only two professions that were held in the highest regard – cricket and acting.
“Cricketers and stars remained protected. Cricketers still enjoy that protection.
“But now what has happened is that stars have been demystified.
“It’s like, ‘Oh you think you can speak against the government, we will show you that even your stars are no saints and we will run them down.’
“It’s a campaign. So, it’s said that there’s rampant drug use and sex in the industry. So, ‘let’s expose them’.
“This has been done intentionally because it can’t be that things have been happening for 100 years and in one year suddenly everything changed.
“It has been instigated, probably planned, and if you look at the people doing this they have one or two followers so they have actually opened the account to do this.
“It’s not that a person has six million followers or is verified and then they are trolling.
“This comes from a very unfounded scenario where it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.”
“We get calls from our relatives or friends asking if something written about someone is true and we have to laugh it off.
“My name was also dragged into it. And then people would call up and ask, ‘Did Arbaaz do that?’ Then you realise people do take this seriously.”
Bollywood was heavily criticised after Sushant’s death and it also saw several actors summoned by police.
Arbaaz Khan was also accused of being involved in Sushant’s death after posts and videos were shared online.
He subsequently filed a defamation case.
On the work front, Arbaaz Khan will return with the second season of his chat show Pinch. His first guest is his brother Salman Khan.