The cast and crew of the Shahid Kapoor-starrer Kabir Singh were heavily criticised for the film’s portrayal of toxic masculinity and domestic abuse. While cinemagoers were extremely disappointed with the Sandeep Reddy Vanga film for the scene where Kabir (Shahid) is seen slapping Preeti (Kiara Advani), matters hit rock bottom when the ace director made the situation worse via his contorverisal remarks amid the flak the film was receiving. “When you are deeply in love and deeply connected to a woman and vice versa, if you don’t have the liberty of slapping each other, then I don’t see anything there,” he said at the time. While Shahid defended Sandeep earlier too, he has now drawn parallels between Kabir Singh and Baazigar, questioning the difference between his and Shah Rukh Khan’s characters in the respective films.
"No one brought up Baazigar, when SRK kills Shilpa Shetty. No one said anything about putting a commode seat on Sonam Kapoor's neck in Sanju. Sab Kabir Singh ke peeche kyun pade hain (Why is everyone after Kabir Singh then?)." Kabir Singh was released on June 21, 2019 and became the biggest solo opening of Shahid’s career.
Speaking at an India Today event, Shahid stated, "If you think cinema is an educational institution that you're taught what you should or should not to do, that's your choice. Cinema is meant to mirror life. It's about representing the truth. It's an adult film, for adults, who can distinguish between right and wrong." Shahid continued, "We promoted the film for two months. If someone's bought a ticket, they probably wanted to see something in it. The film is about a flawed character. Preeti is a stronger character than Kabir. Kabir doesn't know how to handle himself. Every Kabir needs a Preeti in his life.” The film was a remake of the Telegu hit Arjun Reddy.