A host of leading Bollywood filmmakers on Monday filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court against “media trials of Bollywood personalities”, for calling them names and painting the entire “Bollywood as criminals” and sought action against them in the fresh fallout of the Sushant Singh Rajput death case investigation.
Four Bollywood industry associations and 34 leading Bollywood producers sought 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.
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.
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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 name of the production houses are The Film & Television Producers Guild Of India (PGI), The Cine & TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA), Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC), Screenwriters Association (SWA), Aamir Khan Productions, Ad-Labs Films, Ajay DevgnFflims, 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, R.S. 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 and Yashraj Films.
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.
The matter is likely to be heard this week.