Round Up: Indian Media Slams TOI's Handling of the Deepika Padukone Controversy

Swagata Dam , 23 Sep 2014

While the Twitter world went ablaze after reading Times of India’s reply to Deepika Padukone’s letter on the cleavage controversy, several renowned media houses also came forward and gave their respective takes on that particular response by TOI. Some called it a ‘nasty attack’ on the actress and others pinpointed the lack of journalistic ethics. But a certain number of media houses also supported TOI’s take. We give you a low-down on the various reactions of some of the most respected media houses.

Firstpost: Dear TOI, it’s 2014: Slut-shaming Deepika Padukone over her cleavage is so passe

By resorting to every trick in the book employed by the upholders of patriarchal conventions – pointing at clothes, pointing at career choices and then villanising them to put women in their place – they just used the powerful front page of a widely circulated supplement to kick the women’s movement in the gut.

DNA: The response to Deepika Padukone: Sexism, hypocrisy and lack of journalistic ethics flow

The paper accuses Deepika of moral policing (their favourite buzzword since about 2007) and then makes a classic gaffe saying the pictures were not taken without her consent. Obviously one finds it bit too hard to believe that Deepika gave consent to shoot a top angle shot of her cleavage.

Deccan Chronicle: From cleavage to pixelated vagina, the Deepika-TOI row continues

Excuse me? If vaginas and nipples went unpixelated on a newspaper website, how can it differentiate itself from a pornography site? Even porn content is graded. Are you going to lie low, Deepika? The media is heaving in anticipation.

IBNLive: Deepika Padukone vs TOI, a journalist’s point of view: Bravo Deepika, but forcing the moral glove to fit everyone is as wrong as assuming that actors who show skin are ‘asking for it’

There is a reason why sensational headlines like ‘You won’t believe what she did next’ or ‘Shocking revelations’ are written. We live off voyeurism. Ask any online journalist and they’ll tell you sex and scandals get the most pageviews. Who do you think consumes that content?

The Hindu: An open letter to Times of India.

There is a difference between zooming into a woman’s cleavage and making a story out of it with a headline that says “OMG! Deepika’s Cleavage Show” and posting pictures of her that she has posed for voluntarily. The first is a blatant invasion of privacy; the second is her choice. 

The latest post on Firstpost has also questioned if the controversy between the Bombay Times and Deepika Padukone is planned. The post reads Why Deepika versus Bombay Times may not be a real war at all. I’ll believe it’s a real battle if we see a spokesperson from the management side making a statement on the issue. I’ll believe it’s a real battle if the story is discussed in the main paper tomorrow. And if it is a real battle, let’s strap ourselves in for a long, bloody war, with all of Bollywood and feminists in one corner and the entire bouquet of BCCL products in the other. Till then, I’ll say well done… All of you have got great bang for the buck.

Everyone has dished out their strong point of views about the entire controversy while the actress has decided to keep mum and overlook the entire incident after she gave her final word recently.

TOI or Deepika – who do you think is right in this case? Do share your opinion with us by dropping a comment below!

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