Top Bollywood filmmakers file case against Republic TV, Times Now
More than 30 leading Bollywood filmmakers have filed a case in the Delhi High Court against two top news channels over their coverage of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death case investigation. Some of the film industry's biggest names including Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Karan Johar are part of the unprecedented lawsuit, filed against Republic TV and Times Now. Here's more.
Case filed against Arnab Goswami, Navika Kumar, others
The case has been filed against Republic TV, the channel's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and its Consulting Editor Pradeep Bhandari. Another channel, Times Now, and its prominent anchors Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar have also been named in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs include four film industry associations and 34 production companies or producers, as per reports.
The filmmakers slammed 'irresponsible and derogatory' remarks
The filmmakers said these channels as well as social media platforms should refrain from making or publishing "irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood and its members." They also asked that they be restrained from conducting media trials of film personalities and violating their privacy. They have demanded that the channels abide by the 1994 programme code and withdraw "defamatory content" published against Bollywood.
The producers said channels should stick to laws
While the producers have not asked for a blanket media gag on the Sushant's case, they want a "perpetual and mandatory injunction from carrying on reportage and publication of material that violates applicable laws."
Channels used terms like 'scum' and 'druggies'
These channels used "highly derogatory" words or expressions for the film industry, the filmmakers alleged. The terms that are listed include "dirt," "filth," "scum," "druggies," and expressions such as "it is Bollywood where the dirt needs to be cleaned," "filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood," "this is the dirtiest industry in the country," and "cocaine and LSD-drenched Bollywood."
'A smear campaign being run by defendants'
The filmmakers added that Bollywood is a well-recognized industry, which is a huge source of revenue generation and employment for the country. "The livelihood of persons associated with Bollywood is being severely impacted by the smear campaign being run by defendants...The privacy of the members of Bollywood is being invaded, and their reputations are being irreparably damaged by painting the entire Bollywood as criminals."
Producers Guild, Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor also part of case
Those who filed the lawsuit also include the Producers Guild of India, the Cine and TV Artiste Association, and production companies of Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Ashutosh Gowariker, Kabir Khan, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Rohit Shetty and Vishal Bhardwaj, among others.
Recently, a few channels were asked to apologize
The producers pointed out this was not the first time that legal action has been initiated against these media houses. Just recently, the News Broadcasting Standard Authority (NBSA) took action against a number of news channels over insensitive coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput case. Aaj Tak was fined Rs. 1 lakh, while channels like India TV, ZEE News and News24 were asked to apologize.
Earlier, Jaya Bachchan had criticized vilification of Bollywood
Earlier, veteran actor and parliamentarian Jaya Bachchan had spoken in Parliament, criticizing the vilification of Bollywood celebrities. She called it a "conspiracy to defame the film industry." "They bite the hand that feeds them," Bachchan had said in response to BJP MP Ravi Kishan's speech against Bollywood in Lok Sabha. More recently, actor Akshay Kumar had also called for sensitive reporting by the media.