If you’ve been on social media recently, you’d know that ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ reality show on Star Plus has been making a lot of headlines ever since it went on-air for this season. The brouhaha over Akshay Kumar’s inappropriate comments on co-worker internet sensation Mallika Dua is not done yet, and Star Plus is already making news for allegedly cutting out comic Shyam Rangeela’s Narendra Modi act.
The viral video of his original act in which he received a standing ovation from judges Akshay Kumar, Zakir Khan, Mallika Dua and Hussain Dalal has now been taken down from social media following a copyright claim by a subsidiary of Star India Private Limited.
He told The Wire,
Almost a month after the episode was originally recorded, I got a phone call from the production team of the reality show asking me to shoot a new act because the channel decided to not air it
Unlike other contestants who had given auditions, he was invited by the channel solely based on his videos on social media.
The production team told me that the decision to not air my act was taken because the channel feared that it will offend some people and they might protest against them. They said you can’t mimic Modi but you can do Rahul Gandhi, I thought, ok, at least they are letting me do something, I can salvage something. But later they told me I can’t do Rahul either.
Here’s what he has to say about this.
“Akshay Kumar loved my act and even made me perform it backstage for when the team of Golmaal Again came to promote their movie on the reality show,” said Rangeela, who got eliminated just two episodes after the new act.
Let’s hope India is not slowly turning into a story right out of George Orwell’s novel.