Balaji had earlier been severely criticised by some actors and producers on public forums for his irreverent style
Popular radio jockey ‘RJ’ Balaji, whose irreverent quips in his evening talk show ‘Take it Easy’ on FM radio station Big FM have won him a huge fan following, has decided to pull back his reviews of Tamil films.
This happened subsequent to his show on the film ‘Azhagu Raja’ that released on Deepavali day.
His decision to stop the review segment ‘120 Rs.,’ announced via his Twitter account (@RJ_Balaji) on Monday night, has set off a Twitter storm of comments and reactions involving Tamil film celebrities, his followers on the social network and even neutral commentators.
There is considerable anger among several film fans who think the RJ’s irreverent style of reviewing was taken a bit too seriously by Tamil movie stars and producers. Balaji had earlier been severely criticised by some actors and producers on public forums as well.
In a telephonic interview with The Hindu on Wednesday, RJ Balaji (P. Balaji) says the decision was taken not out of fear for personal safety but for purely creating a better work-life balance.
“I don’t want to keep taking my work home. I have a one-and-half-year-old child and my wife is concerned about the phone calls I keep getting and all the explaining I do late into the night, on why I said what I said,” he says.
On Monday, the RJ’s show broadcast audience’s responses to the Deepavali release ‘Azhagu Raja’.
Balaji says he has been thinking about stopping film reviews for nearly a month now. On quite a few occasions in the past, he has been drawn into public arguments over his reviews.
On Tuesday, popular actor Vishal tweeted: ‘Dear Mr. so called critic RJ Balaji, jus got 2knw ya comment on AAA. Reviewing is common bt mak sure u don’t hit below belt. Not happnin!’ The message was retweeted by actor Jiiva (@Actorjiiva) who followed it up with three more messages about reviewing.
Balaji said some people had misconstrued him to be purely a film critic. “‘120 Rs.’ is just one part in a 16-segment show that runs for four hours. I have discussed other topics too in my shows. And I have taken this decision to remove the reviews segment because I can still pull off a show on other topics,” he says.
It is not like Balaji has only fierce critics in the film industry. At least two of them — actor Siddharth and film director C.S. Amudhan — who are active on Twitter supported him in their own ways. Amudhan tweeted: ‘I defend my right to be ridiculed by @RJ_Balaji.’