Journalist Accused Dulquer Salmaan Of Body Shaming And Using Her Pictures In A Movie Without Her Consent. We Can All Learn To Be More Careful From This
Here’s the thing, body shaming is something almost every woman has been through. Knowingly or unknowingly, every woman has been called too fat, too thin, too curvy, too busty… I could go on and on. This is a very real issue that completely kills the morale of a woman but it just doesn’t seem to be ebbing. And for most of us, unfortunately, it starts very young and within our family.
Most of the people we know do not mean to body shame or fat shame, but they do. Have you ever had an aunt come up to you and say, “you would be so pretty if you lose 5-6 kilos” or “kitni patli ho gayi hai, khati nahi hai?”. It pinches when someone comments on your body even if they don’t know what they are doing is wrong. It especially pinches when it’s in public with other people within an earshot, doesn’t it? But can you imagine being unknowingly body-shamed in a movie? Just seeing your picture in the background somewhere with some rubbish written across it, wouldn’t that be horrifying?
Well, that is exactly what happened to Mumbai-based journalist, Chetna Kapoor. She has accused actor Dulquer Salmaan of using her pictures without her consent in his latest movie Varane Avashyamund. Her pictures seem to appear in the background of two scenes as an advertisement for a weight loss clinic. Is this not body shaming?
Chetna took this matter to Twitter and demanded a public apology from Dulquer and the entire crew. She also said in the series of tweets that she would be pursuing legal action.
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We take full responsibility for the error on our behalf. Will look into it with concerned departments of the film to understand how the images were sourced. I apologise from my end and from the film as well as @DQsWayfarerFilm for any difficulties caused. It wasnt intentional.
— dulquer salmaan (@dulQuer) April 20, 2020
Her tweet read, “Dear @dulQuer @DQsWayfarerFilm Thank you for the feature in your film but I’d like you to excuse me from body-shaming on a public forum. The concerned image was used without my consent & knowledge in your film. I’d like to claim ownership of the same. #VaraneAvashyamund.”
Her next tweet read, “You have not used it once but twice in your film. If only I knew one of my many achievements would be a part of a Dulquer Salman movie, I would have helped them promote the movie even more.”
Very promptly, Dulquer Salmaan replied to her tweet with an apology. He said, “We take full responsibility for the error on our behalf. Will look into it with concerned departments of the film to understand how the images were sourced. I apologise from my end and from the film as well as @DQsWayfarerFilm for any difficulties caused. It wasn’t intentional.”
Even the director of the movie Anoop Sathyan replied to Chetna saying, “First of all we are extremely sorry for the discomfort caused. There wasn’t any intention to disrespect or objectify women, as the content of this film is in itself against sexism. We do state our apology on behalf of the technical crew of this film.”
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Had a conversation with @anoop_sathyan abt my pictures used in #VaraneAvashyamund Appreciate the thought & effort you put in reaching out to me. Want to assure you that I m willing to put this matter behind. Thanku for the sincere apology @dulQuer @DQsWayfarerFilm @NetflixIndia
— Chetna Kapoor (@chetnak92) April 20, 2020
After all this, Chetna replied to them saying that she would appreciate it if they would delete the scene or at least blur her pictures. Her tweet read, “I appreciate your prompt reply. While you take your time to investigate the matter, it would be ideal that either the scenes are deleted with my pictures in it or the images are blurred effective immediately.”
Although it’s great that Dulquer Salmaan and the director apologized for this error, it’s a lesson for all of us. It shouldn’t take an entire Twitter feud for actors, producers and other filmmakers to realise that when using someone’s picture , they should have the rights in place. I mean, no woman wants to be living under the fear of her pictures being used in movies without her consent or knowledge. If they had been proactive, their movie would not have made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
This feud ended when Chetna tweeted confirming that she would not be pursuing a legal case against them. She wrote, “Had a conversation with @anoop_sathyan about my pictures used in #VaraneAvashyamund Appreciate the thought & effort you put in reaching out to me. Want to assure you that I’m willing to put this matter behind. Thanku for the sincere apology.”
We are happy that this issue wrapped up quite neatly and amicably but filmmakers must be way more cautious about who and what they are putting in their movies.