Aren’t There Whores in Film Industry?: Telugu Channel News Anchor

A heated debate on a Telugu TV channel turned ugly, when the anchor, who was interviewing an actor, suggested that there were ‘whores’ and ‘brokers’ in the Telugu film industry.

The show on TV5 News saw anchor E Sambashiva Rao face off with actor Posani Murali Krishna over the issue of Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh. The debate on the ‘Top Story’ programme, titled ‘Hodha Kosam Memu Endhuku Poraadali?’ (Why should we fight for SCS?) was broadcasted on 23 March.

In a video of the debate that is doing the rounds on social media, the anchor confronts Murali Krishna over his recent outburst against Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

During the aggressive debate, at one point the anchor asked, “Doesn’t your cine industry have brokers. Aren’t there whores in your industry?”

Background

It all started with TDP MLC Babu Rajendra Prasad slamming Telugu actors and the Tollywood industry in the Legislative Council, for not taking a stand on the SCS issue. His speech set off debates across the state on why the Telugu film industry was not protesting for the state, like Kollywood did when it came to Jallikattu.

Addressing the media, the MLC asked, “What disease is the cine industry suffering from?” Comparing them to the Tamil film industry, Prasad questioned Tollywood’s silence, while the entire state was agitating.

In response to this, actor Posani Murali Krishna, who was earlier a member of actor-politician Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam party, hit out at the MLC and justified the film fraternity’s silence.

He said that the industry was confused with the numerous U-turns taken by Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu over SCS, and hence they didn’t partake in any protest.

He attacked the Chief Minister by calling him a ‘broker’ for luring the members of YSR Congress party into his fold. For his continuous attacks against the Chief Minister, TV5 invited Posani for a debate.

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The Debate

During the aggressive debate, at one point the anchor asked, “Doesn’t your cine industry have brokers. Aren’t there whores in your industry?”

The clip being shared does not contain Posani’s full reply. However, the part that is retained seems to suggest that Posani said, “If I don’t support Chandrababu, you will even call my wife a whore.”

Infuriated by the demeaning remarks against female actors, P Susmitha Krupa, a nurse from Hyderabad filed a case against the anchor with the Jubilee Hills police, demanding strict action against him.

Based on the complaint, the police filed a case under sections 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

TV5 Expresses Regret

Following the controversy, the channel, TV5, has responded to the criticism with a tweet expressing regret.

TV5 editor Dinesh Akula tweeted, “On March 23 - during a ‘Top Story’ news discussion, some unparliamentary words were used about the cinema industry. It is highly regrettable. Will ensure that such language is not used ever. TV5 News always maintains the highest standards of journalism and will continue to do so.”

The video of the debate which is available on TV5’s official YouTube channel has been censored, and the part where the anchor makes the offensive comment has been removed.

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(The article has been published in an arrangement with The News Minute)

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