Indian movie star Shah Rukh Khan is adored by millions, but New Jersey custom officials would not notice him for anybody but another normal traveler. And one who needs extra security.
Khan was landing in the United States to promote a new film about the discrimination that Muslims faced in American after 9/11 of which one of the plot points of the airport holdup of a Muslim traveler simply for being “foreign.”
The irony was just too perfect that a cynic cannot be faulted for accusing Khan of organizing his own detention as a media ploy to raise awareness for his new film. Khan denies any such ploy, claiming he does not need the attention.
Khan, a Muslim, told the TSA [Thousands Standing Around] that “I’m a star,” but they did not buy it and he was held for two hours. The 43-year has stated that this is a common occurrence upon trips to the United States and that he must always schedule a hold up at the airport in his itinerary. Khah joked that for all his troubles in American airports, if Angelina Jolie or Megan Fox are visiting India he should be called to frisk them.
The “Brad Pitt of Bollywood,” as some have dubbed him, has some consolation. First, fmr. actor and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has invited him over for dinner which Khan has accepted.
And although most Americans have never heard of him, Hollywood thinks a great deal of Khan. His aforementioned film “My Name is Khan” recently secured Khan a $200 million U.S. distribution deal with Fox Searchlight.
Not a bad prize at the end of a long day at the airport!
The film is based on a true story and will be released during February 2010.