Tannishtha Chatterjee’s outrage upon facing a “racist attack” on nationally televised comedy show, Comedy Nights Bachao has led several celebrities in Bollywood to condemn the idea of humour surrounding skin colour --a prejudice deeply rooted in the society.
Clearly, Tannishtha was not amused with the ‘roast’ that she went for on Comedy Nights Bachao, and she wrote a Facebook post to vent her anger after experiencing that the only thing the hosts could ‘roast’ about a dark-skinned actress was “of course her dark skin”.
Her post went viral on social media, leading to a debate on the limit to humour.
Upset about Tannishtha’s experience, filmmaker and social activist Ashoke Pandit called the show “sexist”.
“Why comment on Tannishtha’s skin colour? Never heard ‘roast’ masters commenting on skin colour of male superstars! Sexist. Roast Vs Racism,” Pandit tweeted on Wednesday, adding that he doesn’t find vulgarity funny.
“Today I’m vindicated that India feels offended when a woman is humiliated in the name of roast and humour. Vulgarity isn’t funny! Roast Vs Racism,” added Pandit, who is also a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
He recounted the All India Bakchod (AIB) Knockout Roast of January 2015 which involved leading Bollywood celebrities and was widely slammed for its offensive and explicit content.
“That was the beginning of offensive humour, now deal with it,” he said and added: “Anyone who had supported AIB would be fine with racist comments on a woman. I’m sure the actresses laughing at the roast don’t find this racist.”
Pooja Bedi joined in the debate, saying her skin colour is her pride.
ALL extremes are brunt of jokes. Tall/short dark/fair virgin/prostitute.— Pooja Bedi (@poojabeditweets) September 28, 2016
Remember Bachchan song "jiski biwi gori/lambi etc? #RoastVsRacism
‘Even considering that dark skin is a joke comes from very deep prejudice.’ https://t.co/ynH9bcTu8h— Lisa Ray (@Lisaraniray) September 29, 2016
Swara Bhaskar, who is known for being vocal about her views on social issues in the country, hailed Tannishtha’s bravado in speaking up about the issue.
Tannishtha was a guest on the show to promote her latest film Parched with director Leena Yadav and co-actor Radhika Apte. Tannishtha is said to have stormed out of the sets mid-shoot due to the “blatantly racist attack”, wherein she was asked ‘Aap ko jamun bahut pasand hoga zaroor...?’“
After her post went viral, COLORS issued an apology to her for “any hurt that was unwittingly caused”.
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