The Dirty Picture’s (2011) TV premiere, meant to air recently on a prime-time slot, was cancelled by the I&B Ministry on the grounds of obscenity and content that they found inappropriate for family audiences. The rumour was that the channel had been forewarned to screen the film in a late-night slot. Now, it seems that the channel has conceded to this, agreeing to a late-evening premiere for Ekta Kapoor’s film.
Ekta says, “I think my film was neither vulgar nor obscene. It’s a National Award-winning film. It faced problems because of some intra-channel issues.” Presently, Ekta’s sex comedy, Kya Super Kool Hain Hum (KSKHH) is in theatres. Is she worried about its TV premiere? “I’m prepared for the TV premiere of KSKHH. It’s not a sleazy film. If there are objections, I’ll dub some of the scenes, and add scenes which have been removed from the final cut.”
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, all of whose films have faced issues with censorship for TV viewing, says that there are double standards. “Parents can switch channels if they don’t want to expose their kids. But we’re living in an age where kids are exposed to adult content anyway through the Internet, pirated DVDs and English movie channels,” he says. “I’ve always adhered to the cuts I’ve been asked to make. But at times, that takes away from the essence of the film. And if hit movies are aired late at night, they will not fetch channels any revenue.”
Pooja Bhatt, presently awaiting the theatrical release of her A-certified film, Jism 2, says she will happily agree to a late-evening TV release for her film. However, movies like Delhi Belly (2011) and Love Sex aur Dhokha (LSD, 2010) haven’t made it to the small screen at all.
Dibakar Banerjee, director of LSD, says, “Films like these don’t get satellite premieres even two years after release, but that’s fine. If it had to undergo the cuts that were suggested, then there’d be nothing left to premiere!”