OTT giant Netflix received a legal notice from political analyst Mithun Vijay Kumar over an episode of the globally popular show ‘The ‘Big Bang Theory,’ which allegedly made offensive remarks about Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit.
Mr Kumar demanded the removal of the show from the streaming platform and called it offensive as well as defamatory. He also accused the content of promoting sexism and misogyny.
In the first episode of show’s second season, Jim Parsons’ character Sheldon Cooper and the character Raj Koothrapalli, played by Kunal Nayyar, went on to compare another Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai with Madhuri Dixit.
In the scene, Rai is referred to as ‘a poor man’s Madhuri Dixit.’ ‘Aishwarya Rai is a goddess, by comparison, Madhuri Dixit is a leprous prostitute,’ retorts the other character.
In a statement, he said, ‘It is important to hold companies like Netflix accountable for their actions and to ensure that they are sensitive to the cultural values and sentiments of the communities they serve. I strongly believe that streaming service providers have a responsibility to carefully curate the content that they offer on their platforms. It is their duty to ensure that the material they present does not include derogatory, offensive, or defamatory content. I was deeply troubled by the use of a derogatory term in one of the shows on Netflix – Big Bang Theory. This term was used in reference to the acclaimed actress Madhuri Dixit, and it was not only offensive and deeply hurtful but also showed a lack of regard for her dignity.’
‘I strongly believe that streaming service providers must take such issues seriously and act quickly to address any instances of offensive or defamatory content. Furthermore, streaming service providers should be proactive in preventing such content from being streamed. This can be achieved through clear guidelines and rigorous screening processes for all the content published. Ultimately, streaming services have a significant influence over the content that is consumed by millions of individuals, and with this influence comes a responsibility to ensure that the content they offer is respectful, inclusive, and free from harmful stereotypes. I hope that this incident will serve as a wake-up call to all streaming services providers to work towards creating a more equitable and respectful media landscape,’ he concluded.
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