Indian National Award-winning actor Manoj Bajpayee, who launched the trailer of ‘The Family Man’s second season on May 19, is facing resistance and backlash on Twitter when a section of the media users claimed it depicted the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu in a bad light. They have denounced the series as ‘anti-Tamil’.
In the trailer we see Srikant Tiwari (Bajpayee) up against the ‘new face of danger’, a fictional extremist leader played by Samantha Akkineni. Hashtags such as #ShameOnYouSamantha and #FamilyMan2_against_Tamils began trending on Twitter following its launch. Upon seeing the trailer, many have also sought an apology from the series directors Raj and DK.
Many feel that Akkineni’s militant character is being branded as a terrorist and that the Tamil community is being portrayed as terrorists. Akkineni’s character seems to be fighting for an independent state for Ethnic Tamils, a spill-over of the 1983 conflict which stemmed in Sri Lanka where government forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who were in conflict.
“...We severely condemn the film crew and writers of #FamilyMan2 for portraying LTTE as terrorists and war mongers,” tweeted Sunanda ThamaraiSelvan.
Another Twitter user claimed that he strongly condemned the series claiming that they don’t accept LTTE as an extremist outfit.
“Hollywood showed Russians and Cubans as mercenaries in their movies and created hatred against them. This is exactly these people are doing against Tamils,” tweeted Dr Mohammad Gaddafe.
A red and white poster with Akkineni’s image with the bold lettering ‘Shame On You’ is also doing the rounds.
It’s not the first time that a web series is courting trouble and igniting calls for boycott. Earlier, shows such as ‘The Sacred Games’ starring Saif Ali Khan on streaming platform Netflix and ‘Tandav’ on Amazon Prime courted trouble when many found depiction of certain communities and castes in India as objectionable.
While a call for the series ban has begun trending, actors including Taapsee Pannu, Maniesh Paul, Adivi Sesh, Anubhav Sinha and Hansal Mehta have appreciated and praised the edgy trailer.
“So good! Sir u are outstanding !and @Samanthaprabhu2 can’t wait to see u on this new medium with this new look,” wrote Pannu.
In the past, films with any Sri Lankan connect has always run into trouble. Acclaimed director Mani Ratnam’s Tamil movie ‘Kannathil Muthamittal’ (‘A Kiss on the Cheek’) had also faced calls for boycott.
Recently, Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathy who had agreed to play the role of Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralithara backed out from the project when his fans objected to him playing an icon from their reported rival nation.