Four Bollywood industry associations and 34 leading Bollywood producers have moved Delhi High Court seeking directions against two TV channels — Republic TV and Times Now — along with their executive editors and other journalists to refrain from making or publishing irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood as a whole and members of the industry. This is a fresh fallout of the Sushant Singh Rajput death case investigation, reports Hindustan Times
The plea filed through DSK Legal also sought directions to the various social media platforms to restrain them from publishing the remarks of these journalists which is ultimately leading to media trials of Bollywood personalities and interfering with the right to privacy of persons associated with Bollywood.
The petition said that the plea was filed in wake of the channels using highly derogatory words and expressions for Bollywood such as “dirt”, “filth”, “scum”, “druggies” and expressions such as “it is Bollywood where the dirt needs to be cleaned”, “all the perfumes of Arabia cannot take away the stench and the stink of this filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood”, “this is the dirtiest industry in the country”, and “cocaine and LSD drenched Bollywood”.
The names of the 4 film industry bodies are Film & Television Producers Guild Of India (PGI), Cine & TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA), Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC), and Screenwriters Association (SWA). Producers include Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Ajay Devgn, Ashutosh Gowariker, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Yashraj Films.
The plea said Bollywood is a distinct and well recognized class, comprising the Hindi film industry in Mumbai. It said that form several years Bollywood is a huge source of revenue for the public exchequer, earns significant foreign exchange for India by way of revenue from overseas releases of films, tourism etc, and is a big source of employment, with various other industries also being largely dependent on it.
“Bollywood is unique and stands on a different footing from any other industry inasmuch as it is an industry that is dependent almost solely on goodwill, appreciation and acceptance of its audience. The livelihood of persons associated with Bollywood is being severely impacted by the smear campaign being run by the defendants.
“This is in addition to the ongoing pandemic which has resulted in extreme revenues and work opportunity loss. The privacy of the members of Bollywood is being invaded, and their reputations are being irreparably damaged by painting the entire Bollywood as criminals, seeped in drug culture, and making being part of Bollywood as synonymous with criminal acts in the public imagination,” the plea read.
The matter is likely to be heard this week.