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Complaint registered against Anurag Kashyap's short film in Netflix's Ghost Stories: 'This is the end'

A complaint has been registered against Anurag Kashyap's short film in the Netflix anthology Ghost Stories, in one of the earliest examples of new IT laws being put into effect.
Sobhita Dhulipala in a still from Anurag Kashyap's short film in Netflix's Ghost Stories.
Updated on Jul 29, 2021 09:49 AM IST

Netflix India has received a complaint against Anurag Kashyap’s short film in the 2020 anthology, Ghost Stories, one of the first examples of grievances to be registered after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting formulated the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 earlier this year.

The complainant, according to a Mid-Day report, has raised objection to a scene in the short film, in which Sobhita Dhulipala's character eats a foetus after suffering a miscarriage. The complaint notes, “The scene is not required for the story, and if the creators wished to add such a scene, there should have been a trigger warning for women who have gone through the trauma of miscarriages.”

According to the report, complaints must be registered within 24 hours and addressed at the earliest. The report quoted Netflix India spokesperson as saying, "As this was a partner-managed production [RSVP Movies and Flying Unicorn Entertainment], we reached out to the production company to share the complaint.”

Before the notification of the Rules, digital news media was largely unregulated. The introduction of the new laws is seen by many as an effort to moderate and impose restrictions on digital creators. "So it has started... A complaint came to Netflix on Ghost Stories. This is the end," Anurag wrote in an Instagram Story that is no longer visible on his profile but was viewed by MediaNama.

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Also read: Code of ethics: What OTT platforms, such as Netflix and Hotstar, may have to follow

Ghost Stories, an anthology film that also featured shorts from directors Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar, was released on New Year's day in 2020. It was a follow-up to the filmmakers' 2018 anthology Lust Stories.

Netflix India has previously experienced backlash around titles such as Sacred Games and A Suitable Boy, while Amazon Prime Video has witnessed similar problems with titles such as The Family Man and Tandav.

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