Actress Kangana Ranaut picks up a personal spat with a film reporter at a film audio function and accuses him of carrying out a 'smear campaign' against her.
Down South, in Kollywood, the film producers council has come out with a proposal threatening to take critics, who give 'biased reviews', to court.
These may be unrelated incidents. But these two along with plenty other occurrences across film industries in the country reveal the uneasy relationship between the media and the film industry.
In Kangana Ranaut's case there seems to be a general pattern. She has become too touchy and is quick to see a lurking conspiracy even if she so much as stumbles on a pebble while walking. She has displayed the typical paranoia that sometimes tends to afflict the rich and successful.
Kanagana was right to tell the journalist what she felt about his reports on her. But was choosing a public event to vent her frustration a wise decision? That is questionable. After having made her point, she should have gracefully moved on. Instead she kept repeating herself, which was certainly not appealing. Actually, the journo in question had precise answers to all her points. All the more reason for Kangana to have done some damage control by focussing on the event.
Today too, a short video clip of Kangana has been shared on social media platforms, where she continues to go on the offensive, and implicitly calls the journalists criticising her as "corrupt and anti-national". Dangerous self delusional!
It is the same sense of misplaced self importance that makes Tamil film producers averse to criticism of their films and believe that it is not without ulterior motive. This is not say that the media is immaculate. If anything, sections of entertainment media are a huge embarrassment to the journalism industry.
But to come to the conclusion that films are not having a good run in theatres because of wrong criticism is rather stupid. This line of reactions also suggests that the general public have no real thinking faculty of their own, and are blindly led by the media.
Indeed there are incidents of people from the media demanding money or advertisements from producers to give 'favourable reports'. While some sections of journalistic community may be guilty of such practices, the film industry is equally responsible for cultivating such tendencies among journalists.
Yet, to warn the media with the spectre of legal course of action for poor reviews is a blatant threat to freedom of expression. Of course, such cases will not be entertained by the courts. But the fact that the industry is in such a mood reflects a disturbing mindset.
Kangana or Kollywood should understand that it is never prudent to take on the media. Media is not a sacred cow. But those who constantly blame the media would only be seen as suffering from a deep sense of insecurity.