Over the past few days, there's been a flood of tweets and stories in other media in support of Deepika Padukone's response to a video and tweet posted in the online entertainment section of TOI.
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On Friday, Deepika wrote on FB: "A character may demand that I be clothed from head to toe or be completely naked, and it will be my choice as an actor whether or not I take either. Understand that this is a ROLE and not REAL, and it is my job to portray whatever character I choose to play convincingly.''
Deepika, we accept your reel vs real argument, but what about all the times, and there have been many, when you have flaunted your body off screen — while dancing on stage, posing for magazine covers, or doing photo ops at movie promotional functions? What 'role' do you play there? So why the hypocrisy? What's equally hypocritical is that several media outlets have freely displayed Deepika's cleavage even as they sounded all outraged on her behalf. Surely they could have reported the story without those pictures?
Yes, the headline could have been better. But the world of online is very different from that of newspapers. It is chaotic and cluttered — and sensational headlines are far from uncommon.
READ: 'We don't go into a frenzy when cameras capture SRK's and Hrithik's 6-pack abs'
We have always campaigned against the moral police. We believe there's no shame in Deepika showing off her body, but does she now want us to first check with her as to which pictures of her — taken at public events — we can or cannot publish? Are we going to have a parallel censor board for pictures of film stars taken off screen but in plain sight of the world, as Deepika's was? It's not as if the pictures were shot with hidden cameras, or that someone sneaked into her home, invaded her privacy, and took those pictures without her knowledge/permission.
Deepika, who began her career as a 'calendar girl' for a liquor brand, has written, ''Yes we marvel, envy and drool over a male actors 8pack abs in a film, but do we zoom in on the mans 'crotch' when he makes a public appearance and make that 'cheap headlines'??!!'' Deepika, just for the record, we do not zoom into a woman's vagina or show her nipples. As a newspaper, we take every care to ensure that we pixelate them if they show up in a picture, but your cleavage is as sexy as Shah Rukh Khan's '8-pack' abs. Given the nature of the online media worldwide, there could well have been a story headlined, "OMG...Shah Rukh's 8-pack sexy abs!!!" You've also written, ''Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I have little interest to take this further as it might get more attention than it deserves and might be further misconstrued and twisted to sell more undeserved headlines.'' Despite having made your point on Twitter, you have chosen to re-tweet every message and given as many interviews as you could. This has obviously been great publicity for you, timed perfectly with the release of your new film. The video's been on YouTube for a year, why object now?
As for our friends in the media, we wonder if they'll henceforth stop carrying pictures of cleavages, including Deepika's.