HomeCultureGo To Hell Times of India: Deepika's Fantastic Reply and TOI's Sexist One

Go To Hell Times of India: Deepika's Fantastic Reply and TOI's Sexist One

Times of India has hit a new rock bottom. They have proven that India is still a “man’s world” and that the basic respect that women deserve is no where to be found. Last week, the Times of India twitter account posted a picture of Deepika Padukone with “her cleavage showing.” The following was Deepika’s immediate reaction to the tweet:

Yes. This was the Times of India. The Leading Newspaper of India. We have only one thing to tell them. Go to Hell. Extreme? You won’t think so after you read the rest of this article. Deepika took this moment (which had by now led to a huge outcry over Twitter) to teach the Indian public about the ills of patriarchy in this powerful Facebook post:


Now at this point, I expected the Times of India to issue an apology and pretend they weren’t as misogynist as it appeared, but clearly going against their “beliefs” was too hard, so they issued the following letter. I have embedded my replies within the letter:

Dear Deepika, our point of view…

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.

As one of the largest media houses in the world with interests in print, TV, radio and online, we approach each medium differently, as do our audiences. There isn’t a one-fits-all formula for either distributing or consuming content across various media.

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.’

At the trailer launch of Chennai Express (a public event in her REAL life), Deepika Padukone was seen sporting an anarkali with a low cut neckline (image to the left). The video tweeted by @TOIEntertain had been hosted on youtube for over a year and was produced and uploaded by an independent channel called ‘Kraft Buzz’ on June 18, 2013.

WHO CARES? That’s the whole point TOI! It doesn’t matter where she was wearing it, she’s asking you back off.

Deepika kept silent over this video for one year and chose to raise a furor and suddenly felt ‘violated’ only during the release of her movie Finding Fanny.

Hmm. It’s ironic that you accuse her of using it to generate publicity, which is exactly you were doing when you posted the picture. Also, posting the video might not have got her attention, but posting a picture on Twitter was bound too!

Click on the link below to see the video:

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 hypocrisy? Her argument isn’t that she dresses differently in real life, just that you should respect her as a REAL person when it’s her actual personhood that you are criticizing.

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?

Still missing the point. It’s not about the cleavage, it’s your presentation of it!

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 need to make money to not go bankrupt, and we needed to use your cleavage to get some extra views. BTW: Thanks!”

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?

Still missing the point.

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.

Still missing the point.

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’??!!”

Nice job there! Shame her further for pursuing her career! (Still missing the point.)

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!!!”

Read: “Hey, don’t take it personally, we objectify and sexualize everyone!”

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?

Maybe, you should still (try to) answer her actual arguments…

As for our friends in the media, we wonder if they’ll henceforth stop carrying pictures of cleavages, including Deepika’s.

Probably not. Great reason for you to keep doing so right? Remember the “if your friend’s jumped off a bridge…” maxim? It actually meant something…

Here are some pictures of Deepika that she got shot voluntarily in REAL life…
(A couple of magazine photoshoots shown below)

Some of these pictures were taken at magazine shoots in REAL life and not in reel life. These pictures are far more revealing than the above video which she tweeted against. Her tweets, comments and TV interviews were convenient and hypocritical and perfectly timed with her movie release to help it fare better.

TOI! How ignorant are you?? The point is actually quite simple: Don’t shame someone’s body, especially not to generate revenue. And if you can’t: GO TO HELL. 

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