The Big Bang Theory is among the most popular sitcoms. It aired on CBC from 2007 to 2019 and is currently available for audience on Netflix, Prime Video and other streaming platforms. Years after it streamed on television, a blunder has been noticed by author and political analyst Mithun Vijay Kumar. He sent a legal notice asking the streaming giants to remove the first episode of the show's second season. Mithun accused the show of passing derogatory remarks against Madhuri Dixit.
In the first episode of The Big Bang Theory season 2 titled The Bad Fish Paradigm, the characters named Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Rajesh (Kunal Nayyar) were arguing over Aishwarya Rai Bachchan & Madhuri Dixit. The discussion started when Raj was listening to Kaho Na Pyaar Hai's title song picturised on Hrithik Roshan & Ameesha Patel. However, Raj & Sheldon wrongly referred to Ameesha as Aishwarya. Their discussion took an ugly turn due to the factual mistake. During their talk, Sheldon said Aishwarya is a poor man’s Madhuri Dixit. Raj, an ardent fan of the former beauty queen, called her a Goddess and said Madhuri is a ‘leprous prostitute’ in comparison to Aishwarya.
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In the legal notice, Mithun stated that such content can have a negative impact on society, particularly in perpetuating harmful stereotypes against women. He also said that the content promotes sexism and misogyny which is not acceptable in any form. He further demanded that Netflix remove the episode immediately and failure to do so would result in legal action for promoting discrimination against women. The legal notice has been sent to Netflix's office in Mumbai. If Netflix fails to respond or does not comply with the demands made in the legal notice, Mithun mentioned stated that he will take further legal action against the streaming giant.
In a statement, he said, "It is important to hold companies like Netflix accountable for their actions and to ensure that they are sensitive to the cultural values and sentiments of the communities they serve. I strongly believe that streaming service providers have a responsibility to carefully curate the content that they offer on their platforms. It is their duty to ensure that the material they present does not include derogatory, offensive, or defamatory content.I was deeply troubled by the use of a derogatory term in one of the shows on Netflix - Big Bang Theory. This term was used in reference to the acclaimed actress Madhuri Dixit, and it was not only offensive and deeply hurtful but also showed a lack of regard for her dignity."
He added, "I strongly believe that streaming service providers must take such issues seriously and act quickly to address any instances of offensive or defamatory content.Furthermore, streaming service providers should be proactive in preventing such content from being streamed. This can be achieved through clear guidelines and rigorous screening processes for all the content published. Ultimately, streaming services have a significant influence over the content that is consumed by millions of individuals, and with this influence comes a responsibility to ensure that the content they offer is respectful, inclusive, and free from harmful stereotypes. I hope that this incident will serve as a wake-up call to all streaming services providers to work towards creating a more equitable and respectful media landscape."
Netflix and other streaming giants are yet to react to the legal notice.