Popular streaming giant Netflix has reportedly been sued over alleged ‘derogatory remarks’ on Indian actor Madhuri Dixit in its Emmy Award winning show The Big Bang Theory. The streaming platform has been asked to remove the show from its platform for the show’s ‘defamatory’ and ‘offensive’ content. The legal notice was sent by political analyst Mithun Vijay Kumar.
In the first episode of the second season, Sheldon Cooper (played by Jim Parsons) makes a comment by comparing Aishwarya Rai to Madhuri Dixit, calling her “a poor man’s Madhuri Dixit.” But wait, it gets worse. Raj Koothrapalli (played by Kunal Nayyar) chimes in, calling Dixit a “leprous prostitute.” Yikes.
It should be noted that the second season in question aired on September 22, 2008 and the show has since gone on to as many as 12 seasons. Mithun Vijay Kumar, has taken offence on behalf of Madhuri Dixit, and has since asked the streaming platform to remove the show.
In his statement, he made it clear that he intends to take further legal action against Netflix if they don’t comply with his demands to remove the show from their platform. He added that streaming services have a responsibility to be sensitive to the cultural values and sentiments of the communities they serve, and that Netflix has fallen short in this regard.
The Facts of the Matter
‘Madhuri Dixit, Netflix and The Big Bang Theory’. While they may sound like ingredients of a strange dish, together they are making headlines, thanks to Mithun Vijay Kumar. Kumar, reportedly a political analyst, has sued Netflix over the ‘derogatory’ remarks on Madhuri Dixit in popular comedy show The Big Bang Theory.
While the show has been looked as a harmless sitcom about a group of lovable nerds, it has also been criticized for its portrayal of women and its treatment of Indian culture.
Madhuri Dixit Called ‘Prostitute’
In the first episode of The Big Bang Theory’s second season, an Indian character called Raj Koothrapalli (played by Kunal Nayyar), calls Indian diva Madhuri Dixit a ‘leprous prostitute’. In the particular scene, Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) compared Aishwarya Rai to Madhuri Dixit, to which Raj replied with, “Aishwarya Rai is a goddess, by comparison, Madhuri Dixit is a leprous prostitute”.
Political Analyst Sues Netflix
For the above-mentioned remarks, Mithun Vijay Kumar, took action against Netflix, filing a lawsuit against the multi-billion dollar earning streaming platform Netflix.
“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,” his statement read.
“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,” the statement further read.
Recently, I came across an episode of the show Big Bang Theory on Netflix where Kunal Nayyar's character uses an offensive and derogatory term to refer to the legendary Bollywood actress @MadhuriDixit. As a fan of Madhuri Dixit since childhood, I was deeply disturbed by the… pic.twitter.com/pvRCKd5Ne4
— Mithun Vijay Kumar (@MVJonline) March 22, 2023
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Episode Aired Back in 2008
It should be noted that the episode in question is from the second season, which aired from November 2008 to May 2009. The episode, “The Bad Fish Paradigm”, in which the tasteless comment was made on Madhuri Dixit, was aired on September 22, 2008 , and was reportedly watched by 9.36 million US viewers.
Case was Filed Against Netflix Execs in 2020 Over ‘A Suitable Boy’ Kissing Scene
This is not the first time Netflix has landed in hot waters over a show it syndicated on its platform. Back in 2020, MP home minister Narottam Mishra had confirmed that a case was filed against Netflix over a kissing scene from the mini-series A Suitable Boy. The kissing scene showed a Muslim boy kissing an Indian girl at a Hindu temple.