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Why The Dirty Picture is not fit for TV

April 23, 2012 12:22 IST

Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi in The Dirty PictureThe last-minute cancellation of the telecast of Milan Luthria's The Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon has thrown open a heated discussion within the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) as to the validity and the need to screen film with 'Adults Only' certification on television.

Thanks to the uproar over the intended telecast of The Dirty Picture, the Censor Board has decided to re-consider the entire procedure of re-censoring films with an 'A' certificate and thereby declaring 'Adult' films to be fit for the home-viewing medium.

Says a source from the Censor Board, "The experience with Dirty Picture's deferred telecast proves that simply ordering extra cuts in an 'Adults' film is not enough when the very theme is adult. Those members of the Censor Board, who had viewed Dirty Picture to certify it for satellite and television screening, ordered 52 cuts. But those 52 cuts amounted to seven minutes only. On Thursday, when the Information & Broadcasting ministry reacted to legal proceedings in UP courts against the scheduled telecast of Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon at a time when optimum kids and youngsters were glued to the IPL matches, two senior members of the Censor Board re-viewed the film and found that the content needed further toning down before telecast."

However at this late stage, the film's producers Balaji Telefilms refused to comply.

Cencor certificate for telecast in hand, Sony Entertainment Television confidently marched towards a massive eyeball-grabbing telecast on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Apparently, the telecast was stopped minutes before the film was scheduled at 12 noon on the direct intervention of the I & B Ministry.

Now, highly-placed sources in the Censor Board tell us that the Dirty Picture experience would compel the CBFC to revise its policy regarding 'Adult' feature films.

A source from the Censor Board tells us, "Simply re-viewing and re-censoring the film for television is not enough. Adult content remains adult no matter how many cuts are ordered. Following the public outcry and court case against the telecast of The Dirty Picture and the I& B direct intervention in the matter, we're seriously thinking of not re-censoring 'A' films to allow telecast on television."

CEO of CBFC Pankaja Thakur admits a change in policy regarding the revised certification of 'Adult' films for telecast is on the anvil.

"Whatever is shown on television, whether it's a film, serial or an ad, has to censored as per the programme code of the Cable Television Network Regulation Act," says Thakur. "As per the code, films that have a 'UA' rating can be shown on television. Hence 'A' rated films are submitted to the CBFC for granting such cuts and deletions that would make the film eligible for a 'UA' rating. Some films have adult themes and the treatment and public perception is such that even after substantial cuts the film still retains an adult flavour."

Subhash K Jha in Patna