Mumbai

‘Web series have a long way to go’

Engrossing: Actors and writers at a panel discussion organised by the Screenwriters’ Association in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund and Laadli.

Engrossing: Actors and writers at a panel discussion organised by the Screenwriters’ Association in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund and Laadli.   | Photo Credit: ASHISH PRAJAPATI

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Screenwriters say line between bold scenes and exploitative depiction of women tends to get blurred

While web series have revolutionised the media industry in terms of portrayal of female characters, they still have a long way to go as the line between bold scenes and exploitative depiction of women tends to get blurred, screenwriters and actors said at a panel discussion held on Friday.

‘Abuse of women’

The subject of rise of exploitation of women in web content delved into at the panel discussion organised by the Screenwriters’ Association in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund and Laadli. The discussion was moderated by actor, screenwriter and director Tannishtha Chatterjee.

The panellists included Mayank Trivedi, screenwriter of Ragini MMS and Newton; Smita Singh, screenwriter, Sacred Games; Karan Anshuman, creator of Inside Edge and Mirzapur; actor Anupriya Goenka, who starred in Sacred Games, Padmaavat and Daddy; and Manu Sharma, writer for HotStar and Applause.

The panellists said that audiences are likely to consume bold content and makers, too, are producing content, which tend to show women being exploited physically and emotionally.

Mr. Trivedi said, “The Indian audience has been watching shows and series which tend to show sexism. They will continue watching such content as we are living in a sexually depressed society. The audience is habituated to watch such programmes easily presented to them by the producers.”

Mr. Sharma said that more discussion is needed before creating characters for web series, as it is a new medium and every new medium is supposed to bring change in society. The one-and-a-half-hour-long discussion also touched upon the necessity for intimate scenes in web series.

Ms. Singh said, “I have watched web series including Sacred Games, where I could not find the relevance of the scenes of actors indulging in intimate scenes for a long duration.”

Gender equations

Ms. Goenka added, “Showing intimate scenes does not mean that we are moving towards a progressive society. It should be used as a part of the script when necessary.”

The discussion also highlighted the positive shift from stereotypical roles to changing gender equations in the media in movies like Stree, Andhadhun and Tumhari Sulu, which were accepted wholeheartedly by the audience.

In conclusion, Mr. Anshuman said, “There should be a format to approach intimate scenes and these should be mutually decided and agreed on by writers as well as actors.”

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 11:35:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/web-series-have-a-long-way-to-go/article25854950.ece

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