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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Media ban on Salman Khan gets serious

Shalvi Mangaokar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 16, 2014
First Published: 11:29 IST(16/7/2014) | Last Updated: 17:04 IST(17/7/2014)
After a scuffle between photographers and Salman Khan’s security guards outside a suburban nightclub during a promotional event last week, situation seem to be worsening.

At the launch of Party with Devil on Friday - the latest song from his upcoming film Kick - the camerapersons reportedly requested Salman to pose at a particular spot, which the star refused to do. A face-off began between the star's security detail and the shutterbugs at 10.30pm and continued till 11pm.

Video: 'You can't ban me', says Salman Khan

Read Media bans Salman, star reacts with laughter

The organisers, meanwhile, alleged that shutterbugs were jostling the star and delaying the event.

The matter was later escalated to the Bombay News Photographers Association (BNPA). After the news of star's boycott came out, Salman wrote tweets that he applauded the mediaperson's stance and expects them to stick to it.



Following this, the BNPA has decided to take the hard stance, telling photographers affiliated with the body to not click the actor’s images at promotional or casual events.



The official statement by Rajanish Kakade, secretary, BNPA says, “The Bombay News Photographers Association (BNPA) has decided that photographers affiliated with them will not shoot Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s photographs — in events where he is the host or the guest. While they will continue to cover any such event, but will avoid recording his presence…after inhospitable remarks made by the actor at a film event where media was invited (sic).”

Moreover, Kakade, on being contacted, tells us, “Why invite someone and insult them? When Salman reacted on Twitter, no decision had been taken yet. But his tweet aggravated the situation further. So the ban is on Salman, not his movie, co-stars or family.”

Several photographers have blamed bodyguards for untoward incidents. According to them, they push and shove, and refuse to leave the actor’s side. A leading photographer (name withheld on request) says, “There’s no need for the guards to touch us. Look at the way events are organised abroad. If the venue is small, and 50 photographers are called, how do you expect us to click pictures?”

Meanwhile, the film fraternity has come out in Salman's defence while requesting the situation be resolved amicably. His father Salim Khan said, “I’ve never defended my children before. But I feel that the photographers should maintain decorum. Ask the celebrity to stand, and he will comply. It’s an honour for us to be clicked. But, they (photographers) are always pushing, running ahead of the actor, jumping onto cars. That creates nuisance.”

Also, stars shared their own experiences with the photographers. Kangana Ranaut said, "In my experience, the photographers sometimes show uncourteous behaviour. They even scare you with their screams and comments such as ‘Aye, hat ja…’. They even push. I don’t have bouncers or bodyguards. So it becomes a little bit uncomfortable that way. I wish they could display a little bit of gentleness and be nicer.”

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt went for a conciliatory note. The actor said, “Conflict doesn’t benefit anyone. With the ban, the photographers have registered their protest. But, if photographers don’t click pictures of a superstar like Salman, the organisers will arrange for the images and send them across. It’s not like the papers won’t carry them. Both parties should meet and come to a solution.”

Actor Imran Khan said the onus of defusing situation lies with the star. “Situations like these are always volatile. But I think a celebrity must take the onus upon themselves, and calm the situation. Your manager or security’s voice may go unheard, and the chaos may continue, but if you interfere, you will be heard. Interacting with the photographers helps, and I personally do that.”

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