OTT giant Netflix has received legal notice from political analyst Mithun Vijay Kumar over one of the episodes of its popular show The Big Bang Theory. Kumar demanded the removal of the show from the streaming platform and called it offensive as well as defamatory. He also accused the content of promoting sexism and misogyny. Also read: Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking Season three to stream in April
In the first episode of The Big Bang Theory’s second season, Jim Parsons who plays Sheldon Cooper, went on to compare Aishwarya Rai with Madhuri Dixit. In a scene, he called Aishwarya ‘a poor man’s Madhuri Dixit.’ In response, the character Raj Koothrapalli, played by Kunal Nayyar, says, “Aishwarya Rai is a goddess, by comparison, Madhuri Dixit is a leprous prostitute.”
Referring to the scene, Mithun Vijay Kumar has stated to take further legal action against Netflix if they fail to respond or do not comply with the demands made in the notice.
In a statement, he said, “It is important to hold companies like Netflix accountable for their actions and to ensure that they are sensitive to the cultural values and sentiments of the communities they serve. I strongly believe that streaming service providers have a responsibility to carefully curate the content that they offer on their platforms. It is their duty to ensure that the material they present does not include derogatory, offensive, or defamatory content. I was deeply troubled by the use of a derogatory term in one of the shows on Netflix – Big Bang Theory. This term was used in reference to the acclaimed actress Madhuri Dixit, and it was not only offensive and deeply hurtful but also showed a lack of regard for her dignity.”
“I strongly believe that streaming service providers must take such issues seriously and act quickly to address any instances of offensive or defamatory content. Furthermore, streaming service providers should be proactive in preventing such content from being streamed. This can be achieved through clear guidelines and rigorous screening processes for all the content published. Ultimately, streaming services have a significant influence over the content that is consumed by millions of individuals, and with this influence comes a responsibility to ensure that the content they offer is respectful, inclusive, and free from harmful stereotypes. I hope that this incident will serve as a wake-up call to all streaming services providers to work towards creating a more equitable and respectful media landscape,” he concluded.