Cancelled telecast of ‘The Dirty Picture’ leaves a dirty impression with Bollywood

The Dirty Picture
MUMBAI: Everyone who was eagerly waiting to watch Vidya Balan starrer ‘The Dirty Picture’ on Sony TV this Sunday was left disappointed. Scheduled to be run twice at 12 noon and 8 pm, those who tuned into the channel were simply let down with a ticker reading “For unavoidable reasons we regret to inform The Dirty Picture will not be telecast today. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.”
‘The Dirty Picture’, which is supposedly based on the life of Southern sizzling actress Silk Smitha, was stopped from screening because of its adult content. After the members of the censor board viewed the film, they ordered 59 cuts (8.5 minutes) and certified it for television screening. However, at the end moment, Information and Broadcasting ministry sent a letter to Sony TV not to telecast the movie during prime time Sunday, which are family hours. The movie could be screened only after 11 pm.
This move has left most in the Industry upset. Sony TV, which, bought the rights of the Ekta Kapoor’s production venture for Rs 8 crore refused to comment. CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures, Tanuj Garg couldn’t hold back though, when he tweeted, “It’s unfortunate that even after a valid censor certificate being in place, the telecast was held!”
Director of ‘The Dirty picture’, Milan Luthria, reacted angrily, “I am shocked and disappointed that this decision was taken at the last moment. For the last two months we have been working on this and as per the rule few scenes had to be cut to get the U/A certificate,” he said to the press.
Filmmaker Karan Johar expressed his surprise, “A national award winning film cannot have a national telecast! This is not an irony but plain and simple hypocrisy! If the censorship is not a final authority then what is?” he tweeted.
The Regional Officer of Censor Board of Film Certification, J. P. Singh explained to a leading newspaper, "Well, we gave a U/A certificate after mellowing down certain dialogues and scenes. What became a deterrent for the telecast is two PILs filed against the film – one in Lucknow, the other in Nagpur. There is a Cable Network Act that says that objectionable stuff cannot be telecast at prime time, the slot given to The Dirty Picture."