Baabul Supriyo says OTT will no longer have unlimited freedom, gives Mirzapur’s example: ‘Who abuses so much in real life?’
Baabul Supriyo has shed some light on the I&B ministry’s intentions of OTT censorship. Baabul says that while streaming will still enjoy more freedom than television, it will not be unlimited.Updated: Nov 19, 2020, 15:54 IST
Member of Parliament, singer-actor Baabul Supriyo has weighed in on OTT platforms now falling under the ambit of the Information & Broadcasting ministry for regulation. This could mean that web series and films releasing on digital platforms might also soon start getting censored by a government authority.
The change was made through the amendment of Allocation of Business Rules and announced through a gazette notification dated November 9 by the Cabinet secretariat. The amendment brought “film and audio visual programmes by online content providers” and “news and current affairs content on online platforms” under the ministry of information and broadcasting’s domain for regulation.
Speaking to Bollywood Hungama, Baabul said that the regulations will not be severe but the OTT will no longer have ‘unlimited freedom’. “Of course it is a major problem. There has to be some kind of accountability some sort of a check and balance on the OTT platform. It was long due,” he said.
“It would all be reasonable. It’s not as though we’ll suddenly clamp down on the OTT content. Filmmakers on the digital platform would still have comparatively a lot more freedom than on the large screen. The only thing is, the freedom won’t be unlimited. You won’t be allowed to go on an abusive binge like Mirzapur. Kaun itni galiyan deta hai har baat mein (who abuses so much in real life)? This kind of content for shock value would have to be graded according to age-suitability,” he added. Baabul further said that they will come up with a solution of password checks to make sure underage audience cannot access adult content.
At present, there are no laws or autonomous bodies that have a say on the sort of content on streaming services or news websites – complaints regarding these had largely been dealt by the communications and IT ministry with laws such as the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code being invoked.
Traditional media such as films, entertainment and news television channels and newspapers are covered under mechanisms such as government’s Central Board of Film Certification, the independent Broadcasting Content Complaints Council and Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act.
On streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ Hotstar, the government has previously pushed for a self-regulatory mechanism, the official quoted in the first instance said. These companies formulated a self regulation code that the information and broadcasting ministry rejected due to what it saw as conflict in interest in the advisory panel, news reports said in September.
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