Television

TV industry largely ok with on-screen tobacco ban

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/03/10/Itv_1.jpg?itok=bLEwBsW_

MUMBAI: A government diktat stubbing the use of tobacco products on the big and small screen has had the "filmwallahs" fuming, but not so the television fraternity.

First the facts of the matter. From August 2005, characters in movies and television are not supposed to display or use tobacco products. When it comes to older movies, channels and theatres will have to carry scrolling health warning messages.

The filmmakers' community has responded vehemently with noted film director Shyam Benegal calling the government's decision "not a well-advised step" and dial-a-quote producer-director Mahesh Bhatt not surprisingly terming the directive ''an absurd regulation".

In this contest, indiantelevision.com decided to speak to a cross section of the Indian television industry ranging from channel executives to popular artists. Leading channels played it safe, expressing their aversion to smoking on-screen and even the actor community supported it wholeheartedly. On the other hand, directors seemed to have a problem.

Channel executives said the ban hardly mattered since they had already been following self-regulation on this issue. Sony Entertainment Television EVP & business head Tarun Katial had a crisp reply in store. "We have no actors smoking in our serials and we don't subscribe to this practice," he snaps.

Sahara One Television programming head Kumud Chowdhary expresses the channel's willingness to follow the government directives on the issue. But at the same time, she opines her personal view that such a ban is not actually fair from a creative point of view.

"Even earlier there were these S&P (standards and practices) directives that we can't show people actually drinking or smoking on television. We could show them with a cigarette or a bottle in hand, but not actually smoking or drinking. So we were abiding by that. Now with this new directive being passed, we will abide by this too, but it isn't actually fair as sometimes these situations are an integral part of the storyline and helps in creating an atmosphere for a particular setting," she says.

"We had taken a decision on this some time back. According to this, we don't show any of our serial actors as smoking on-screen. Earlier, we used to run a strip saying "Cigarette smoking is injurious to health" whenever such a scene came. So the present ban doesn't really affect us, "says Zee TV programming head c.

Star executives were unavailable for comment at the time of filing this report.

Ajay Sinha, director of Zee shows Hasratein and Astitva calls the government "stupid' for imposing such a ban. "The government should impose a ban on smoking instead of banning it on television or at least identify where one can and cannot smoke. Serials do not encourage smoking, it just depicts a life style. They don't impose ban on smoking because they earn revenue by way of taxes. If smoking is banned in life, it will automatically be banned on TV. They are trying to shift the onus onto TV industry," says Sinha.

Producer-director Paritosh Painter opines that a complete ban is uncalled for. "A ban can be applied to scenes were cigarette smoking is shown as a style statement. But a scene where cigarette smoking is essential to the script should be allowed."

Actor Rohit Roy calls it a "good move". "Actors are role models. And a large section of Indians are uneducated. Seeing their favourite star smoking can induce such habits in them too. If I grew up seeing Amitabh Bachchan smoking, I would probably take it up thinking if God can why can't I? Recently my serial on Zee had scenes of me smoking. But then we decided not to show any more of such scenes," he reasons.

Jaya Bhattacharya, the Payal of Kyunki... prefers healthy life to creative freedom. "Yes, it does bring limitations to a person's character if he has to be shown in a negative role. But healthy life is more important.

Mihir Misra, who plays a doctor in reel life in the Star Plus show Sanjivani-A Medical Boon, also lauds the decision. "There is a section of viewers in kids who don't have the power of discretion. They find it's cool to imitate the actors."

(With special inputs from HETAL ADESARA)

First the facts of the matter. From August 2005, characters in movies and television are not supposed to display or use tobacco products. When it comes to older movies, channels and theatres will have to carry scrolling health warning messages.

The filmmakers' community has responded vehemently with noted film director Shyam Benegal calling the government's decision "not a well-advised step" and dial-a-quote producer-director Mahesh Bhatt not surprisingly terming the directive ''an absurd regulation".

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/cc.jpg?itok=vyxpkA3V
Comedy Central sets pace for ultimate celebration with over 100 hours of non-stop FRIENDS ultra marathon for its 6th birthday

Birthdays and New Years are great occasions to make resolutions for participating in marathons. However, this is one marathon which calls for hanging up your running shoes and grabbing the best spot in front of the telly with a bowl of munchies to keep you going because, for the first time ever in...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/usports.jpg?itok=kTmil1B-
U Sports launches India's first ever Multi-Platform Multi-Game E-Sports Championship - U Cypher with MTV

The Indian E-Sports scenario is all set for a major revamp as U Sports, one of India’s biggest sports business companies in association with India’s No. 1 Youth Brand, MTV, announces the premiere of their all new month-long championship, U Cypher with MTV. Premiering today, on 19th January, the...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/dth.jpg?itok=SKeBAh70
TV ownership increased by 14% in 2017: IRS

After a gap of four years, the Indian Readership Survey (IRS), which documents the growth of the media industry, has been released for 2017. The survey methodology was criticised in 2014 and, therefore, was halted for an upgrade. This time, the sample size has been increased by 34 per cent to 3.2...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/challenge.jpg?itok=evdSw-BZ
CNN-News18 launches 'If I Were FM Challenge'

As part of its Budget programming, CNN-News18 is launching the ‘If I were FM Challenge’. The campaign will encourage viewers to contribute their suggestions for the Union Budget. The channel will run an extensive on-air campaign to promote the same.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/BBC.jpg?itok=JOGTF9zH
BBC World News to Broadcast 'China's Chat Girls'

Lele Tao is an internet superstar in China’s $3 billion dollar ‘live streaming’ industry. With more than a million fans she can earn thousands of dollars a day singing, dancing, flirting, or often just chatting into her webcam. Fans buy her virtual gifts which she redeems for cash. In return she...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/anupam.jpg?itok=fMDsUqO6
PKL season 6 and 7 dates announced

The second most watched domestic league in India, Vivo Pro Kabaddi League owned by Mashal Sports and Star India announced the dates of sixth and seventh season.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/18/star-bharat.jpg?itok=kT6YtkU0
Star Bharat leads Hindi GEC (U+R) in week 2 of BARC ratings

MUMBAI: Star Bharat emerged as the leader in the Hindi GEC (U+R) genre dethroning Zee Anmol according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) all India data for week 2 of 2018.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/18/aaj-tak-barc.jpg?itok=4sc6BHYP
BARC week 2: Aaj Tak leads Hindi News in all three markets

MUMBAI: Republic TV continues its leading streak in the second week of the year as well in BARC All India ratings. News Nation stays in the top five chart in week 2 of 2018 in Hindi News Rural market. Aaj Tak tops the chart again in Hindi News Urban market.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/18/karan-bajaj.jpg?itok=jxlg_oWY
Dsport acquires India rights of tri-nation tournament in SL

Discovery’s sports channel Dsport has acquired the exclusive India broadcast rights of Nidahas Trophy 2018, a tri-nation international T20 tournament involving India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The transaction was facilitated by Lagardère Sports, the global marketing consultant of Sri Lanka Cricket...

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories