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Sharmin Segal Faces Nepotism Backlash for Performance in “Heeramandi”

Sharmin Segal, niece of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, is facing criticism online for her role in the new Netflix series “Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar.” While the show has garnered praise for the performances of Aditi Rao Hydari, Sonakshi Sinha, Manisha Koirala, and Sanjeeda Sheikh, Segal’s portrayal of Alamzeb has been met with negativity from some viewers.

Accusations of nepotism are at the heart of the backlash. Many social media users allege Segal received the role solely due to her family connection to Bhansali. This criticism is amplified by the fact that “Heeramandi” marks Segal’s third film under Bhansali Productions, following her debut in “Malaal” (2019).

The negativity extends beyond casting. Comments on Segal’s Instagram posts criticize her acting, with viewers calling her performance “expressionless,” “wooden,” and a “yawn fest.” Some even claim they skipped her scenes entirely.

This isn’t the first time Segal has addressed nepotism. At the trailer launch for “Malaal,” she acknowledged the industry’s prevalence while emphasizing the pressure to succeed regardless of connections.

Segal has responded to the online criticism by disabling comments on some of her Instagram posts.

“Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar” is available on Netflix now.

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