'Sid' refers to Mumbai as Bombay, upsets activists

What’s in a name?

Plenty, if you’re the makers of “Wake Up Sid.”

The Bollywood film from UTV Motion Pictures, described as a paean to Mumbai, should have been a point of pride for the city’s leaders — except for one vexing problem: It refers to the city by its old name of Bombay.

While most denizens of the Indian city still call it Bombay, activist Raj Thackeray was incensed that the pic didn’t use the newer moniker.

Fearing Thackeray would make good on his threats to sic his army of followers on the pic with protests, producer Karan Johar quickly apologized and added a disclaimer to the start of the pic noting that the city’s name is, indeed, Mumbai.

Johar’s apology infuriated the state’s chief minister Ashok Chavan, who said the police — regardless of whether they’re called Mumbai or Bombay cops — would be able to thwart any “army of thugs.”

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta planned a silent march to Thackeray’s home in the suburb of Shivaji Park on Oct. 10 and he’s set up a Facebook group and is urging Twitter followers to join the march.

Johar’s capitulation also set off wags, who wondered whether the city’s film industry should henceforth be called “Mollywood,” or if popular Hindi songs such as “Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan” (This is Bombay my love) or “Bombay sey aya mera dost” (My friend is visiting from Bombay) need to be edited to reflect the new name and sensitivities.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more