What went Dirty in the telecast of the ‘A’ Picture on Sony?

Does a National Award take away the fact that ‘The Dirty Picture’ was rated ‘A’? Or did the government simply over-react despite a U/A certificate to the film after 59 cuts?

Despite a green signal from Bombay HC, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has put its foot down to restrain Sony Entertainment Channel from telecasting ‘The Dirty Picture’ during daytime hours. In a notice sent to the channel on Saturday evening, the ministry said that if Sony wanted to telecast the film, it should do so after 11 PM.

The channel was supposed to show the movie on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 12.00 PM and 8.00 PM. The channel undertook an extensive promotion lasting over a month. The irony is that the I&B ministry notice came just a day earlier, on Saturday night, making it impossible for the channel to find a legal way out.

Just before the start of the movie, Sneha Rajani, Senior EVP and Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television, tweeted:

“I profusely apologise for what is going to happen very soon. Our hands were tied. But “IT” will come soon… with a bang.”

Then the ticker on the channel announced:

“For unavoidable reasons we regret to inform that the film The Dirty Picture will not be telecast today. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.”

On April 19, a lawyer had filed a plea with the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court seeking a restraining order on a TV channel from airing the movie. The court issued notices to the channel, I&B Ministry and the Central Board of Film Certification to file a reply by April 20. The court on Saturday allowed Sony to go ahead with the scheduled telecast after the respondents informed the court that the Central Board of Film Certification had cleared the film after 56 cuts, 36 of which were cut by the film producer himself, and 22 others as suggested by the Board.

The channel of course suffered a huge loss but who should be held responsible? The Chief Marketing Officer of LG India, LK Gupta, told BestMediaInfo.com in a twitter reply, “Onus would always lie on the channel to plan and take all possible clearances. They’re not kids and should have known it would be controversial.”

But was it right for the government to bar the telecast of the film that won a National Award along with several other accolades? Weren’t the High Court’s clearance and CBFC’s U/A certificate enough reasons for I&B Ministry to let the movie go on air? As Director-Producer Karan Johar tweeted: “A national award winning film cannot have a national telecast??? This is not an irony but plain and simple hypocrisy!!!!”

LG’s Gupta is of the opinion that it was not just a matter of number of cuts – “the theme is adult anyway”. He said that “I think someone made a mistake allowing a day telecast in the first place.” Gupta went on to say, “The fact that it won awards does not take away the fact that The Dirty Picture was made for adult audiences, hence kids should not watch.”

courtesy: BestMediaInfo.com

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