• The Tannishtha Comedy Nights Bachao Controversy

    It seems like we Indians have a dual nature, on one side we say we have come a long way and now appreciate movies that depict the story of women struggling for their rights in movies like “Parched” and on the other side when Tannistha Chantterjee makes an appearance on a show to promote the same movie along with the director of the film Leena Yadav and co-star Radhika Apte she is described as ’kaali kalooti’ and asked if she was eating jamun since childhood as of result of which ‘mooh kala hai’, by the contestants of the show.

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    The actress wrote a long post on her official Facebook Account stating her misery.


    “I cannot believe I was sitting in a nationally televised comedy show in 2016 in Mumbai amid such regressive ( I can’t call it humor), and blatantly racist content. Though I was feeling suffocated, I decided to give it another chance, an sat through an equally offensive segment. “

    Well-known actress, Nandita Das has come out in Tannishtha’s support and has said in her Facebook that to be sexist, racist and regressive in not funny.

    This is not the first time when Comedy Nights Bachao has courted controversy. Earlier also, the show rubbed many people the wrong way.

    The channel Colors reacted fast, with a spokesperson on behalf of the channel putting out a statement that apologised for “any hurt that was unwittingly caused”.

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    The lead anchor of the Comedy show Krushna Abhisekh told The Indian Express, “If she (Tannishtha) feels offended by something, I apologise from our side. We never want to hurt anyone deliberately. ‘Comedy Nights Bachao’ is of a roast format. Roast doesn’t mean that we say just anything to anyone… I had asked Tannishtha, if she has seen the show, she said she doesn’t watch TV as such. So, she has no clue about the show. So I took another example and asked her if she had seen AIB Roast? And she hadn’t seen that either. I told her that since it’s a roast, there will be some leg pulling, but we don’t insult. Had we been insulting, the show won’t have come so far.”

    “I don’t know what hurt Tannishtha, because I wasn’t performing then. But I apologise if it has hurt her, though it wasn’t a deliberate attempt,” he added.

    So is this another example of not understanding what a ‘roast’ is? Or is it plain prejudice disguised as humour? Is there any need to bring in the colour of one’s skin, even in a show designed to insult and deride? You be the judge.

    Feature Image Credit: Deccanchronicle

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