After internationally-acclaimed model and actress Tannishtha Chatterjee slammed comedy show Comedy Nights Bachao, telecast on Colors TV channel, for mocking her skin tone, the channel has now apologised to her saying it has taken up the matter with the creative team of the show.
As part of the promotion of her recently released film Parched, Tannishtha along with the film’s director Leena Yadav and her co-star Radhika Apte appeared on Comedy Nights Bachao, which has a roast comedy format.
At the show, she was called kaali kalooti (a derogatory term used for dark-skinned women in Hindi language), and was asked whether she had too many jamuns (blueberries) when she was a child.
The actress, who got frustrated with this and walked out of the show, took it to Facebook and wrote a lengthy post, “To my utmost horror, I soon realised that the only quality they found worth roasting about in me was my skin tone. It began with ‘aap ko jamun bahut pasand hoga zaroor! Kitna jamun khaya aapne bachpan se?’ And went on in that direction.”
The 35-year-old actress, who couldn’t tolerate the offensive comment, wrote, “I could not believe I was sitting in a nationally televised comedy show in 2016 in Mumbai amid such regressive (I can’t call it humour) and blatantly racist content. Though I was feeling suffocated, I decided to give it another chance and sat through another equally offensive segment.”
https://t.co/2mIOcuE0o6 Please read my post about deep rooted color bias in our country. This is written by me.
— TannishthaChatterjee (@TannishthaC) September 28, 2016
Colors TV replied, “It is rather unfortunate that what you had expected to be a fun and novel experience turned out to be traumatic for you on the sets of Comedy Nights Bachao.
“…It was never our intention, nor a practice for us or the makers of the show to offend anyone at all with the jokes. We have taken this up seriously with the creative team and the production house to ensure that the show is produced in line with the vision of the channel. Please accept our apologies for any hurt that was unwittingly caused.”
— COLORS (@ColorsTV) September 28, 2016
Director Leena has been quoted by a leading daily: “Clearly, there was nothing else to talk about other than the colour of her skin. Tannishtha can blame Krushna, and he can say she did it for publicity, but I know she is not speaking up for this one issue; she is against the mentality. It is my fault that I took my actors to a show I have never watched before. If our sensibilities were not in sync with that of the show, we shouldn’t have gone.”
Krushna Abhishek, when asked about the same by a leading daily in an interview, said: “Tannishtha is going overboard. She is doing this for publicity. We always meet the actors before they come on the show. I had asked her if she had seen the show before and if she was familiar with our (roast) concept. She said she hadn’t seen the show. She hadn’t watched even AIB Roast. If she didn’t know what it was, she shouldn’t have come on the show. Secondly, we gave more importance to Radhika Apte, who is a bigger star. That must have also been a problem for Tannishtha.”
When he was asked about the comment made, he said, “I didn’t say that and I don’t know who said that. In any case, it is a roast format aur hamne wahi masti ki jo hamesha karte hai. In fact, we have toned it down from what it was earlier. Initially, she was enjoying, but after a while she told us she doesn’t like this kind of mass humour. Neither Radhika nor Leena had any problems with our comments. In fact, they were laughing and while going, both Radhika and Leena hugged me and danced with me.”
Actors like Nandita Das and Hansal Mehta have extended their support for the actress for speaking out on the issue.