As many as 38 film bodies and production houses — prominent among those are Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions and the firms of Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan — have filed a suit against a news channel and four journalists for “defaming” the Hindi film industry. Over the last couple of months, Bollywood has become a target of constant ridicule on news channels with derogatory terms being used for the industry.
The petitioners have named Republic TV, Arnab Goswami, Pradeep Bhandari, Times Now, Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar in the suit filed in the Delhi High Court. The production houses of Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Karan Johar, Akshay Kumar, Aditya Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar and all other major banners have all come together as plaintiffs in the suit. The Film &Television Producers Guild of India (PGI) and Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) have also joined the suit.
The news channels are accused of using derogatory words such as “dirt”, “filth”, “scum”, “druggies” and expressions such as “all the perfumes of Arabia cannot take away the stench and the stink of this filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood”.
Shah Rukh, Aamir and other plaintiffs
- The Film &Television Producers Guild of India (PGI) 2.
- The Cine & TV Artiste? Association (CINTAA)
- Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC)
- Screenwriters Association (SWA)
- Aamir Khan Productions
- Ad-Labs Films
- Ajay Devgn Fflims
- Andolan Films
- Anil Kapoor Film and Communication Network
- Arbaaz Khan Productions
- Ashutosh Gowariker Productions
- BSK Network and Entertainment
- Cape of Good Films
- Clean Slate Filmz
- Dharma Productions
- Emmay Entertainment & Motion Pictures
- Excel Entertainment
- Filmkraft Productions
- Hope Production
- Kabir Khan Films
- Luv Films
- Macguffin Pictures
- Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
- One India Stories
- RS Entertainment (Ramesh Sippy Entertainment)
- Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures
- Red Chillies Entertainment
- Reel Life Productions
- Reliance Big Entertainment
- Rohit Shetty Picturez
- Roy Kapur Films
- Salman Khan Films
- Sikhya Entertainment
- Sohail Khan Productions
- Tiger Baby Digital
- Vinod Chopra Films
- Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures
- Yashraj Films
CINTAA refuses to comment
The plea said Bollywood is a distinct and well recognised class, comprising the Hindi film industry in Mumbai. It said that since 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.
Republic TV is embroiled in a fake TRPs controversy. Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh had claimed that Republic TV and two other Marathi channels had manipulated TRPs.
The TRP racket was unearthed after a police complaint by Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd, the agency contracted by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) to place audience meters to monitor TV channels watched by households.