The Producers Guild of India has issued an open letter condemning the “relentless attacks” against the Indian film industry and its members post Sushant Singh Rajput‘s death. Pointing out its contribution to the country and its resources, the premier film and television body has called out the “rape threats and death threats” the fraternity has been subjected to, saying that it’s “unacceptable.” The letter has also lashed out at media for targetting industry members and coverage of Sushant case, writing, “The media should look in the mirror and stop fanning the flames.”
Bollywood, as a community, had up until now remained silent on the entire matter of Rhea Chakraborty’s media trial, save a few actors like Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Swara Bhasker, and Hansal Mehta – who were subjected to immense trolling for appealing to people, to the law take its course.
Producers Guild Counters “Drug Nexus” Claim
The Guild, which is presided over by producer Siddharth Roy Kapur, Balan’s husband, released its two-page statement on Twitter, that reads, “The last few months have seen relentless attacks on the reputation of the Indian film industry across all media. The tragic death of a promising young star has been used by some as a tool to defame and slander the film industry and its members. A picture has been painted of the industry as a terrible place for outsiders to aspire to; a place that treats those who dare to enter it with contempt and derision; a murky den of substance abuse and criminality. This narrative is salacious enough for the media to exploit to great effect in order to boost its ratings, readership and page views. But it is not the truth.”
The mention of substance abuse allegedly takes cognisance of actor Kangana Ranaut‘s recent comments about the industry on a national news channel, where she spoke about Bollywood’s “drug nexus” and claimed that “99 percent of people in the industry are drug users.” This claim was countered by several industry members like Raveena Tandon and Mehta.
Letter Slams Media Slander And Rape Threats
While admitting that “the film industry has its imperfections,” the Guild maintains that generalising of any claims is “a gross misrepresentation of reality.” It likens itself to the other industries and the trouble entrants in any field – “be it politics, law, business, medicine or the media” – have to face.
Elaborating on its contribution to India, it further writes, “The film industry employs hundreds of thousands of people, boosts travel and tourism and is one of the most important sources of soft power for India across the world.”
Touching upon the notorious nepotism debate that had raged all over mainstream media after Rajput’s death, the Guild wrote, “Being born into the industry most definitely affords you the privilege of access and a first break, but after that it is up to each individual’s talent, hard work and drive to propel them forward.”
It also made note of how “Members of the industry on both sides of this debate, especially women, have been subjected to rape threats and death threats,” and that “it must stop now.”
Slamming the media, the letter mentions, “There are some things more important than advertising revenues and ratings – things like common human decency. Let’s show we still have some.”
Full Statement By The Guild
— Producers Guild of India (@producers_guild) September 4, 2020
Image Credit: Zee News
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