Thursday 29 October 2020

Shah Rukh, Aamir, Salman’s firms move court against ‘irresponsible’ reporting

Production houses of Shah Rukh, Ajay, Salma, Aamir Khan, Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra, Farhan & Zoya Akhtar etc have joined hands as plaintiffs

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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

  1. The Film &Television Producers Guild of India (PGI) 2.
  2. The Cine & TV Artiste? Association (CINTAA)
  3. Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC)
  4. Screenwriters Association (SWA)
  5. Aamir Khan Productions
  6. Ad-Labs Films
  7. Ajay Devgn Fflims
  8. Andolan Films
  9. Anil Kapoor Film and Communication Network
  10. Arbaaz Khan Productions
  11. Ashutosh Gowariker Productions
  12. BSK Network and Entertainment
  13. Cape of Good Films
  14. Clean Slate Filmz
  15. Dharma Productions
  16. Emmay Entertainment & Motion Pictures
  17. Excel Entertainment
  18. Filmkraft Productions
  19. Hope Production
  20. Kabir Khan Films
  21. Luv Films
  22. Macguffin Pictures
  23. Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
  24. One India Stories
  25. RS Entertainment (Ramesh Sippy Entertainment)
  26. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures
  27. Red Chillies Entertainment
  28. Reel Life Productions
  29. Reliance Big Entertainment
  30. Rohit Shetty Picturez
  31. Roy Kapur Films
  32. Salman Khan Films
  33. Sikhya Entertainment
  34. Sohail Khan Productions
  35. Tiger Baby Digital
  36. Vinod Chopra Films
  37. Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures
  38. 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.

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