Not so funny: Viewers lament censored Justin Bieber Roast

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 02, 2015 12:14 IST

Justin Bieber survived a brutal Roast, and it didn’t fare so well when it was telecast in India.

The Roast, which was telecast on Comedy Central in India on April 1 -- the All Fools Day -- has been a huge success internationally and Variety reported it was the third most watched Roast for the channel.

In India, where Justin enjoys a huge fan following, #BieberRoast was one of the top trends. The fans, however, soon felt cheated due to the frequent bleeps and mutes during the programme.

With Kevin Hart as the roast master, the 21-year-old was zinged for his on-and-off romance with Selena Gomez and his run-ins with the law. In the true roast tradition, nothing was off-limits as Shaquille O’Neal, Martha Stewart, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Hannibal Buress took turns throwing barbs at Bieber.

Comedy Central, which has earlier had run-ins with the government and its transmission suspended for showing ‘obscene and vulgar’ programmes, was probably playing it safe.

Going by the decisions taken by the Censor Board in India, the final version of Justin Bieber Roast doesn't seem unusual. The 'desi' version of the roast, which saw actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor at the receiving end of the brutal jokes, faced criticism from many quarters. Some cultural organisations also protested against the 'offensive' content.

The Indian Roast -- AIB Knockout -- where filmmaker Karan Johar presided as the roast master was removed from YouTube after the content was found ‘vulgar’. Multiple cases were filed against the people involved as well as some members of the audience.

However, the question remains the same: What's the point of airing a programme which relies completely on tongue-in-cheek jokes and is heavily censored? To be precise, what will remain if most of the fun elements are either completely edited out or mercilessly bleeped?

Fans also took to Twitter to voice their opinion about it. Here are some of the reactions:

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