The ever so dangerous foot-in-mouth disease is back. The Times Of India has published an article titled, “Dear Deepika, Our Point of View” in response to the Facebook post by the actress titled, ‘My point of view’, which was in response to the many questions regarding her Twitter outrage on TOI’s cheap ‘cleavage show’ video on her, shared on the 14th of September.
The back story: That Sunday, right after the release of her film ‘Finding Fanny’, The Times of India (TOI) entertainment section republished an old video of Deepika dressed in a low neck gown shot from a top angle, with a rather sensational title “OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show”. The furious actress had taken to Twitter to lash out at the newspaper along with a screenshot of the same.
In a barrage of tweets, she had slammed the popular daily for resorting to create sensational “news’ from the said picture, while giving them a fitting reply about her cleavage and on TOI’s women empowerment talks while disrespecting women themselves.
TOI suggested the actress to take it as a compliment, but this only raised the outrage levels on Twitter with fans and prominent people from the film industry standing tall on the side of the actress, while TOI quickly deleted the offensive tweet and the suggestion tweet.
A debate was triggered online on the objectification of women in media, while various national and international news publications carried the ‘cleavage controversy’ story. The actress resorted to her Facebook page to offer her point of view, in which she has made clear her concern on ‘the regressive tactics still being employed to draw a reader’s attention at a time when we are striving for women’s equality and empowerment’.
In TOI’s so called official response, it does admit that the headline could have been better. However, it justifies itself too – “But the world of online is very different from that of newspapers. It is chaotic and cluttered — and sensational headlines are far from uncommon.” Thus implying that all online publications are justified in their choice of sensational headlines to stand out in this clutter.
Further, it attacks her character by describing her as someone who began her career as a ‘calendar girl’ for a liquor brand, and calling her outrage as hypocrisy. Moreover, the article is supported by revealing pictures of Deepika in various magazines, etc. (Article screenshot shown above in featured image).
TOI has indeed opened up the Pandora’s Box on media and its portrayal of women, largely holding a mirror on its face. Aside from leading to positive debate and taking responsibility, TOI has further fuelled the objectification of women.
It has also fuelled the social media outrage for this ridiculously immature official response. Following are some tweets that reflect what people think of TOI:
Dear ToI: When you put a foot in it accidentally on purpose, just pull it out Sending foot 2 to join foot 1 is stupid pic.twitter.com/Vsc2QBpdPc
— prempanicker (@prempanicker) September 22, 2014
TOI has clarified that cleavage is not like crotch or nipples. It’s not a “private” part, so open to public.
— Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan) September 22, 2014
Flush TOI-let #EnoughSaid
— Vishal (@vishaldwivedi9) September 22, 2014
If you ask TOI to be little more sensitive, they will publish cleavage pictures in braille language for blind people.
— SAMBHA (@sambha_bhilane) September 21, 2014
TOI’s argument basically reads like – “you wore short skirts, so you asked for rape.”
— Kaushal S. Inamdar (@ksinamdar) September 22, 2014
“I stand with TOI ” – Penis
— Rofl Gandhi (Bilu) (@RoflGandhi_) September 22, 2014
Twitter has also started trending with ‘Dear Deepika’ and #ReplaceMovieNameWithCleavage’ tweets. Given the pace of the medium, this might die in a couple of days, but, the real issue of ‘women’s portrayal in films and media’ still remains. Now over to Deepika’s serve.
Feature image: Bombay Times