Reality TV show MTV Roadies has left viewers livid after an episode showed contestants stripping in full public view. On the episode, which aired last Saturday, three male contestants —Mohit Saggar, 20, Suraj Chinnadore, 26, and Suchit Vikram Singh, 20 were asked to do a full monty in front of a live audience in Brazil.
Though the task would have earned his team Rs1 lakh, Suraj refused. The others who went ahead with it were visibly uncomfortable, even more so as there was an artist who sketched their naked bodies and members of the audience recorded videos on their phones, cracking lewd jokes.
Suchit, who cringed while stripping, later said, "I just had one thing on my mind — what will my parents think? I only hope the videos don’t find their way to You tube."
The act has drawn flak from right-wingers and fans. "This is totally against our morality. It’s very offensive, and they are not setting a good example," says Rahul, spokesperson, youth wing, Shiv Sena. "The nude act was immoral. Cheap tactics will not help TRPs," says Priyanka Sethi, 23.
While the channel refused to comment, Raghu, the show’s producer and host, feels they’ve done nothing wrong. "We helped them overcome one of the biggest fears in life — going naked in public. Nothing we showed was offensive; all private parts were blurred with black strips," he says.
Psychiatrist Deepak Raheja says the humiliation associated with the task could have a life-long impact on the boys. "They did it on the spur of the moment; once they are back to reality, they will realise what they did. Sometimes, these kinds of things can lead to serious mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic problems," he says.
In April, the show’s anchors were booed out of Pune by by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists
In 2009, contestant Sufi Malhotra, who broke his leg during a task said there wasn’t adequate safety
In the same year, Palak aka Gurmeet Kaur said she was asked to swear for TRPs.