— Consider reading the article ‘Romantic Rape’: Read how an Odia TV channel was caught promoting a talk show that was ‘romanticizing’ rape on OpIndia website —
Recently, a Twitter user had shared a video clip from Odisha’s popular news channel Kalinga TV. The video clip was from a talk show named ‘Chit Chat’ where two actors were having a conversation. Shockingly, the female actor is seen asking the male actor whether he would like to do a ‘romantic scene or rape scene’?
What rubbish is “Romantic Rape” @Kalingatv
Saw this on TV while surfing channels this week pic.twitter.com/OSbmA3tjF6
— କୁମାରିକା Kumarika (@kumariika) July 4, 2020
In the video-clip shared by Odia Twitter user Kumarika, the female actor in the Kalinga TV show is seen asking the actor whether he would prefer a ‘romantic scene or a rape scene’? Looking at the male actor’s hesitation, the female actor laughs out loud, saying she has now understood the male actor’s hesitation and she knows what he would prefer.
Further in the clip, the male actor tries to explain to the female actor that a rape scene cannot be romantic and he always wanted to be a ‘hero’, not a villain. To which the female actor replies, “so you wanted to do a romantic rape scene, not a usual rape scene like the villains do”.
The actor then says, “rape cannot be romantic, be practical. Romance is two-way. If I am coming to rape you, how can I romance you?” To which the female actor replies, “Imagine a scene, where the director asks you to rape, you are being expressive as a rapist, but inside you are feeling romantic.”
The actor then says, “That will be very hard, as an actor I would certainly prefer that my director gives me a ‘romantic rape’ scene.
Kalinga TV had used the ‘romantic rape’ conversation in their promo video
Kumarika further stated that when she searched Kalinga TV’s YouTube channel, she found that it was an old episode where Kalinga TV had even used the ‘romantic rape’ conversation between the two actors in its promo clip shared on YouTube. When OpIndia got in touch with Kumarika, she stated that the episode was being re-telecast last week and it was shocking for her to see the blatant normalisation of a heinous crime on a TV show, that too without any viewer discretion and during lunch hours where families gather to watch TV together.
The video clip generated outrage among Twitter users from Odisha who slammed Kalinga TV for promoting such content that shows blatant normalisation, and even ‘romanticisation’ of a heinous crime. Kumarika had even lodged a complaint with the Indian Broadcasting Foundation regarding the objectionable content aired by Kalinga TV.
Kumarika has informed that she had later found that the channel has restricted access to the said episode, but the short promo clip was there. Later, Kalinga TV blocked Kumarika on Twitter and now the said episode and the promo clip are both showing on YouTube as ‘private’.
Kalinga TV issues clarification
After restricting public access to the said episode of Chit Chat and its promo on their YouTube channel, Kalinga TV has issued a clarification over the issue. The clarification says that the said show ‘Chit Chat’ was shot 9 months ago and since the show’s theme is to promote emerging artists from the Odia film industry, they provide ample freedom to the featuring actors to discuss myriad topics in their show.
The channel has further stated that they had no intention to promote rape via the show and following the complaints, they have now removed the said videos from all their social media platforms.
We focus on our viewer’s interest and it will always be our first priority. pic.twitter.com/iTPDNSnPKr
— Kalinga TV (@Kalingatv) July 5, 2020
Kalinga TV’s clarification, however, has failed to convince most of the users on social media. Twitter users from Odisha have stated that not only the clarification sounds superficial and insensitive, it also shows that the TV channel does not screen their content before telecasting.
This explanation is so insensitive. You give freedom to discuss such things and air it also. Very irresponsible. If you are not screening the content then viewers like me will ditch your channel. Arrogance and insensitivity at peak.
— Sheetal Mishra (@itssitu) July 6, 2020
The show Chit Chat airs every Monday at 9.30 pm on Kalinga TV. The above-mentioned episode was telecast last year and was recently re-telecast. The episode features a conversation between Odia actors Sujit Paikaray and Pupul Bhuyan.