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Home >News >India >Bollywood associations, producers file legal suit against media houses for defamation

As many as four film bodies and 34 studios have come together to file a law suit before the Delhi High Court against media houses to “refrain them from making irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood as a whole and members of Bollywood, and to restrain them from conducting media trials of Bollywood personalities."

Associations such as the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, The Cine & TV Artistes Association, Indian Film and TV Producers Council and Screenwriters Association, besides companies owned by actors and directors like Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Ashutosh Gowariker, Karan Johar, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, Rakesh Roshan, Kabir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aditya Chopra have named Republic TV, Arnab Goswami, Pradeep Bhandari, Times Now, Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar in the suit, according to DSK Legal, the firm that has filed the petition on behalf of the producers.

Bollywood, or the Hindi film industry, has faced a barrage of allegations since the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput this June. Accusations of drug abuse, nepotism, toxic work culture and debauchery have been directed at many people in the industry, with the recent drug scandal ensnarling actors like Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh and others. The suit asks the news channels to abide by the provisions of the Programme Code and to withdraw, recall and take down all the defamatory content published by them against Bollywood.

“These news channels (have been) using highly 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," the suit says.

As far ethical media reportage goes, the News Broadcasting Standards Authority has also reprimanded television news channels for insensitive taglines and stories, relating to Rajput’s case. NBSA is an independent body set up by the News Broadcasters Association with the task to consider and adjudicate upon complaints about broadcasts.

NBSA has asked broadcasters Aaj Tak, Zee News and News 24 to air an apology, besides issuing a warning to them that such taglines should not be telecast in the future. The body has also asked ABP News to respect people’s right to privacy and not interview grieving family members of the deceased in the future, in cases like the present one in particular. In cases that channels have been found incorrect in their reportage and stories that were carried out without due diligence, NBSA has asked them, Aaj Tak for instance, to air an apology and remove all videos of the said programmes.

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