When Ashutosh Kaushik slapped Shambhavi on Roadies; Raghu made him 'grovel' and admitted mistake
- Former Roadies and Bigg Boss winner Ashutosh Kaushik, who has invoked the 'right to be forgotten', is no stranger to controversy. Here's what happened when he slapped a co-contestant on Roadies.
From public brawls to controversial behaviour on national television, Ashutosh Kaushik has had a chequered career as a reality TV star. On Thursday, the Delhi High Court sought the Centre and Google’s response on a plea by Ashutosh, who has invoked the 'right to be forgotten'.
Ashutosh Kaushik, who won Roadies 5.0 and Bigg Boss 2, claimed he had a right to be forgotten and sought removal of some of the videos, photos and articles related to his drunk driving in 2009 from various online platforms. But that isn't the only incident in which he was involved to have caused a controversy.
In the season finale of Roadies 5.0, Ashutosh squared off against Nihal Nikam. The final challenge involved the two finalists convincing ousted contestants to complete a variety of dares, such as shaving their heads, getting their nipples pierced, kissing an iguana for five seconds, and getting slapped by the leader of the other team.
The season ended in controversy, after one contestant, Shambhavi, agreed to be slapped in the face by Ashutosh, who completed the task without batting an eyelid.
But almost immediately, everyone felt that things had gotten out of hand. Shambhavi's reaction was one of shock. Show creators Raghu Ram and Rajeev Laxman were asked about the ethics of showing an act of physical violence on TV, and they expressed regret.
In a 2009 interview with Rediff, Rajeev said that the incident was 'unexpected' because they never anticipated that any of the girls would agree to it in the first place. "And then we got pissed off because the boy really whacked the girl hard across her face. That's just not done. But yes, it did happen on the show and we take responsibility for it," he said.
Raghu chimed in, "It was a mistake. In the finale, there were two boys left, and we brought back the rest of the Roadies for the last bit. And the point was for each of the boys to convince his teammates to do tasks that would make him win... Our guess was that people would not come forward to do the task, because there was enough animosity between them... But we were surprised when people started falling over themselves to do the tasks! Later, they told us that it was their last chance to prove themselves as a Roadie. Once the girl, Shambhavi, volunteered, we couldn't interfere. They completely misread the situation and we didn't anticipate it. I underestimated the power of the show on the psyche of the contestants. But later we apologised to her, made Ashu grovel for days, and got her to slap both Ashutosh and Nihal for good measure."