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Bollywood associations, producers file civil suit against ‘select’ media houses

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A civil suit has been filed before Delhi High Court by four Bollywood industry associations and 34 leading production houses, praying that the court direct the news channel Republic TV, Arnab Goswami and Pradeep Bhandari of Republic TV, the news channel Times Now, Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar of Times Now, and unknown defendants as well as social media platforms to refrain from making or publishing irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against the Hindi film industry as a whole and members of Bollywood.

The suit also sought to restrain the news channels from conducting media trials of Bollywood personalities and interfering with right to privacy of people associated with the film industry.

The plaintiffs also prayed that the defendants abide by the provisions of the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, and to withdraw, recall and take down all defamatory content published by them against Bollywood.

This comes in the wake of the above-mentioned channels using words and expressions for Bollywood such as “dirt”, “filth”, “scum” and “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 civil suits pleaded that Bollywood denizens are a distinct and well recognised class adding that over several years, the industry has been a huge source of revenue for the public exchequer, and has earned significant foreign exchange for India from overseas film releases as well as generating tourism. The suit also reminded that the industry is a big source of employment, with various other industries also being dependent on it.

The suit reminded that Bollywood is unique and stands on a different footing from any other industry inasmuch as it 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 run by the defendants, the suit asserted, adding that this was in addition to the ongoing pandemic, which has resulted in extreme losses in revenues and work opportunity.

The privacy of the members of Bollywood was being invaded, the civil suit contended, and their reputations irreparably damaged by painting the entire industry as criminals seeped in drug culture. To be a part of Bollywood was being painted as being synonymous with criminal acts in the public imagination, it was stated.

Almost all well-known names in Bollywood are represented through the plaintiffs, including Producers Guild of India, Cine & TV Artiste Association, Film and TV Producers Council, and Screenwriters Association.

That apart, 34 production houses have also been represented. These are: Aamir Khan Productions, Ad-Labs Films, Ajay Devgn Fflims, Andolan Films, Anil Kapoor Film and Communication Network, Arbaaz Khan Productions, Ashutosh Gowarikaer Productions, BSK Network and Entertainment, Cape Of Good Films, Clean Slate Filmz, Dharma Productions, Emmay Entertainment and Motion Pictures, Excel Entertainment, Filmkraft Productions, Hope Production, Kabir Khan Films, Luv Films, Macguffin Pictures, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, One India Stories, R.S. Entertainment, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures, Red Chillies Entertainment, Reliance Big Entertainment, Reel Life Productions, Rohit Shetty Pictures, Roy Kapur Productions, Salman Khan Ventures, Sohail Khan Productions, Sikhya Entertianment, Tiger Baby Digital, Vinod Chopra Films, Vishal Bhardwaj Film, Yash Raj Films.

According to the plaintiffs, the channels in question have been regularly flouting the Programme Code framed under Section 5 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and contained in Rule 6 of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, which governs the television channels owned and operated by these Defendants.

A recent example being furnished is the reportage following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. When the case was transferred to CBI, these channels rushed to suggest that the CBI would start making arrests. The plaintiffs point out nothing of that sort has yet happened. They added that a few of the channels were openly conducting and publishing parallel private ‘investigations’ and effectively acting as “courts” to condemn Bollywood personalities as guilty based on what they claim was “evidence” found by them, thereby trying to make a mockery of the criminal justice system.

The plaintiffs stated that they do not seek a blanket gag order against media reportage of the investigation in the Sushant case but merely seek a perpetual and mandatory injunction against the defendants from carrying on with reportage that violates applicable laws. The suit has been filed by DSK Legal on behalf of the plaintiffs.

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Shweta Tripathi gets into Kill Bill mode for Mirzapur 2

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Actress Shweta Tripathi Sharma has channelised her inner Uma Thurman to reimagine for her character Golu Gupta as an action heroine in the second season of Mirzapur.

Thurman is remembered for her alpha action heroine role of Beatrix Kiddo in Quentin Tarantino’s pop classic film series, “Kill Bill”.

Shweta claims the film and Thurman’s role inspired her as she prepared for her character in season two.

Ready to avenge the deaths of her sister Sweety and Bablu Pandit, Golu unleashes a hitherto unknown streak of violence within herself.

“There are many cinematic references. ‘Kill Bill’ surely tops the list. It was important to understand that Golu is the kind of woman who takes the lead,” said Shweta.

“She cannot be oppressed or be struggling in the face of adversity. Golu’s survival energy was what I internalised for my part. There’s a steely resolve in Golu, coupled with uncontrollable rage. The second season for me was such a unique experience. Never could I have imagined playing something like this,” she added.

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Anurag Basu: Ludo is unlike any film I have made before

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Filmmaker Anurag Basu says directing the upcoming multistarrer, Ludo, was quite an adventure for him because he has never dealt with a story like this before.

“Ludo is unlike any film I’ve made before. It’s been an adventure. It was fantastic working with such a talented ensemble, where each actor brought a unique vision and craft. (Composer) Pritam, one of my closest collaborators who I have worked with on so many projects, worked closely with me to bring this film to life and I am so grateful to him. I’m excited that the film is getting a global audience with Netflix and hope that they enjoy this Diwali entertainer with their families,” said Basu.

The trailer of the film was launched on Monday virtually in the presence of the director and the cast. It stars Abhishek A. Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Rohit Saraf, Pearle Maaney, Pankaj Tripathi, and Inayat Verma, who were part of the event.

The film is an anthology dark comedy and is scheduled to launch on November 12.

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Pankaj Tripathi ‘shocked’ to see ‘Mirzapur’ craze in the UK

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Actor Pankaj Tripathi was pleasantly surprised to see fans of the popular web series Mirzapur in the UK.

“I was shooting in Glasgow in the UK for ’83’. During the shoot, people gathered around the location, and I used to think to myself, maybe it is because they are excited to see an Indian film shoot happening.” The crowd, he recalled, consisted of Indians as well as foreigners.

“After wrapping up the shoot when I used to get a chance to meet them, they would only have one question to ask — ‘Kaleen Bhaiya, when will you be back on screen?’” he recalled, referring to his character from the series.

“I was shocked to see the massive fandom of ‘Mirzapur’ that has made its way to the UK. While I was shooting for other projects too, crew members and people all around still crazed out about ‘Mirzapur’,” he added.

Pankaj had earlier said that the character had made him quite popular all over India. He is set to return as the gangster in “Mirzapur Season 2”, which will stream on Amazon Prime Video from October 23 onwards.

“Mirzapur” is produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, created by Puneet Krishna and directed by Gurmmeet Singh and Mihir Desai.

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