Social Media Outrage After Swara Bhasker Asks Zomato To Pull Ads From Channels Promoting Hate: Five Things To Know

Loyal viewers of Republic TV are threatening a mass boycott of Zomato following Swara Bhasker's tweet and the food delivery app's response to it.

Tanvi Akhauri
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Swara Bhasker Zomato

Actor Swara Bhasker is trending on social media once again, on account of having demanded businesses to avoid funding hate speech in the media. The events that transpired on Twitter involved Bhasker responding to claims that food delivery giant Zomato was funding advertisements on Republic TV, a news channel that has often been accused of sensationalism and propaganda. Bhasker's strong reaction to this claim warranted a response from the food company as well, which said it will look into the matter. As a result, social media users are threatening to boycott the delivery app by trending #boycottzomato.


Also Read: Journalist who Quit Republic TV, says it's Running an 'Aggressive Agenda' against Rhea

Here are five things to know about the timeline of events: 

1. A Twitter account named Defund The Hate shared a video on November 18, naming Zomato and its initiative Feeding India as advertisers on Republic TV, which is headed by journalist Arnab Goswami. Defund The Hate describes itself as "a campaign aimed at holding corporates accountable for the hateful media they choose to support through advertisements. We envision a hate-free, responsible fourth pillar of Democracy." It makes public the names of giant corporations that direct their money towards sources that allegedly promote hate speech or bigotry.

This is the video they shared on Twitter:

2. Bhasker, known for being vocal against hate speech and as someone who has been critical of Goswami and his channel in the past, responded to Defund The Hate's post. She wrote that as a customer availing Zomato's services, she doesn't want to even "indirectly" fund the content on this particular news channel.

3. Zomato, through their Zomato Care service Twitter handle, duly replied to Bhasker, saying that they don't endorse any content except their own, but would look into the matter.

Here is the conversation thread:

4. What is now being called a biased "indulgence" of Bhasker's "whims," several social media users and loyal viewers of the said channel are threatening a mass boycott of Zomato. They are crying foul at the food delivery giant's alleged "pandering" to a celebrity's demands, claiming it is an attack on "nationalism."

Here are some reactions from Twitter:

5. In the recent past, social media outrage and threats of a mass boycott have influenced the advertising decisions of several big companies. The latest in a long line of such examples has been Tanishq. Between October and November, the jewellery brand (backed by Tata) has pulled down two ad films for its Ekatvam line of jewellery after facing outrage on social media. While one of the ads showed an interfaith marriage, the other one endorsed a cracker-free Diwali. Read more about it here.

Hate Speech advertising swara bhasker Zomato Republic TV