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Hansal Mehta slams mandatory smoking disclaimer on OTT platforms | Bollywood

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Filmmaker Hansal Mehta has come out to criticise the new mandate that requires OTT platforms to insert a smoking or tobacco products disclaimer. He sarcastically called it a “progressive decision.” (Also Read: Karan Johar, Hansal Mehta, other celebs praise Netflix’s Kohrra: ‘Best series I’ve seen since Trial By Fire’)

Hansal Mehta has criticised the mandatory smoking disclaimer on OTT
Hansal Mehta has criticised the mandatory smoking disclaimer on OTT

What Hansal said

Hansal Mehta, the director of the recently released Netflix series Scoop and SonyLIV series Scam 1992, took to Twitter on Wednesday and wrote, “Yes. The only reason tobacco products and smoking kill is our shows/films. By putting these tickers we will have healthy people who don’t smoke. Very progressive decision.”

Hansal responded to a specific line in the report about the inclusion of smoking disclaimer on OTT platforms: “This decision was made to protect people’s health and raise awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco.”

Reactions to Hansal’s remark

Hansal’s comment left the internet polarised. A Twitter user wrote in the comment section of his tweet, “It’s so easy to ban movies. Why don’t they ban tobacco ? Hypocrites.” However, another user refuted Hansal’s remark and wrote, “If this decision stops 100, 10 or even 1 person to quit / not getting habituated to smoking or tobacco consumption, I genuinely think it’s a good decision !”

Another user tried to reason it out with Hansal. They wrote, “Sir, films do have the power to influence the gullible. With the distribution and access of today it becomes more important to have checks.. self regulation should be foremost.. I am scared about my kids childhood, with the kind of content available on OTT these days..”

Why the smoking disclaimers on OTT platforms?

As per news agency PTI, the government has made it mandatory for OTT platforms to display an anti-tobacco health warning as a prominent static message at the bottom of the screen during the period of a tobacco product being displayed or used in a programme, the Rajya Sabha was told on Tuesday.

According to the amended rules, every publisher of online curated contents displaying tobacco products or their use has to display anti-tobacco health spots, for a minimum 30 seconds each at the beginning and middle of the programme.

They have to display anti-tobacco health warning as a prominent static message at the bottom of the screen during the period of display of the tobacco products or their use in the programme, and also display an audio-visual disclaimer on the ill-effects of tobacco for a minimum 20 seconds each in the beginning and middle of the programme.

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