The entire Bollywood industry seems to have started a war they cannot possibly win. The Bollywood industry backed by the A-listers who run their own production houses had filed a suit in the Delhi High Court to stop Arnab Goswami, Republic TV, Pradip Bhandari and Times Now from ‘defaming’ Bollywood. While Times Now was also included in the petition, after the constant hounding of Republic TV, it was largely seen as a battle to take Arnab Goswami down.
The suit had asked them to take down all “defamatory” content published by them against the film industry. The Bollywood bigwigs are reportedly upset at the alleged use of words like “dirt”, “filth”,” scum”, “druggies” and expressions such as “all the perfumes of Arabia cannot take away the stench and the stink of this filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood” to describe the film industry.
The lawsuit — filed by four industry associations and 34 production houses, including the ones owned by Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Rohit Shetty, Vinod Chopra, and Ashutosh Gowariker had asked for the channels to be barred from conducting a “media trial”.
However, now the Bollywood industry seems to be harking ‘Retreat’!
In a statement on behalf of the production houses that have filed the civil suit against Republic TV and Times Now, a statement was released to the media that said that the suit was not aimed at the two channels specifically, but “entire media”.
A fresh press release by DSK Legal, representing 34 production houses and four film associations, stated that the relief sought from Delhi High Court would be applicable not merely to the two news channels earlier named but to any content on any news channels, individual persons or on any of the digital platforms.
“Our clients, the trade associations and production houses of the Hindi film industry which have filed a suit before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court on October 12, 2020 against certain named television news channels and digital media platforms seeking injunctive relief as stated therein, clarify that the suit is not just seeking orders against the channels and platforms named in the suit, but also against unnamed defendants referred to as John Doe/ Ashok Kumar,” read the statement.
It added: “This means that any orders passed in favour of the plaintiffs would apply to all television channels and content on digital platforms which may be found violating such orders. Our clients have also come across some others publishing such content and will be adding certain specific additional defendants to the suit. Our clients also wish to clarify that as specifically stated in the plaint, they are not seeking a blanket gag order against media reportage of investigation of cases, as our clients find is being erroneously reported.”
Days after Bollywood production houses and artist associations had come together to file a suit in Delhi high court against Republic TV and Times Now to restrain them from making remarks against the film industry, the Cine & TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA), one of the petitioners in the suit, has now passed a resolution to make way for the possibility to include other media networks and news channel in their petition filed in the Delhi High Court.
Interestingly, in a letter released by CINTAA on Thursday, the artistes’ association had also said that it may add media and news channels other than the two media channels already added in the suit filed before the Delhi High Court. The CINTAA’s decision to include other media networks in their suit is now being viewed as an attempt by the Bollywood industry to lay the ground for a tacit retreat in the case that was seen as an action specifically to target Republic TV and Arnab Goswami.
It is specifically being seen as a retreat against Arnab Goswami and Republic TV since in the first para, they specifically mention ARG Outlier Media Ltd, which is Arnab Goswami’s company. Also, because the Bollywood industry has been up-in-arms against Arnab Goswami over his coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput case and the drug bust by NCB in which several big Bollywood names have come up so far.
When the entire Bollywood industry had decided to go after Republic TV and Times Now, far more than Times Now, the liberal establishment had celebrated that the industry was training its gun against Arnab Goswami and that, it was time to pull him down. However, with the massive support that the channel gets, it seems that even the Bollywood big-wigs have realised that going after Arnab Goswami is simply bad optics for the high and mighty in the industry, who now seem to be whining after the dirty truth about their industry seems to be tumbling out, post the Sushant Singh Rajput death and the drug bust by NCB.