Filmmaker Hansal Mehta is disappointed with cricketer Rishabh Pant’s new ad for Dream 11. In the ad, Rishabh is cracking a joke at the expense of the art form. He tried his hand at classical singing. Hansal called it ‘disgusting and disrespectful.’
Hansal tweeted, “This is a disgusting and disrespectful commercial. Pimp yourself but not at the cost of ridiculing art and it’s rich traditions. I demand that @Dream11 pulls this down.”
The ad shows Rishabh Pant pondering over a thought. He is thinking about what he would have been if he was not a cricketer. After that, it shows a fictional scene. There, Rishabh is portrayed as a classical singer. He, however, takes the wicket-keeper’s position in front of the mic and sings poorly.
Writer Munish Bharadwaj replied to Hansal. He said that the ad was in bad faith. But it does not warrant its removal. Munish wrote, “It’s in bad taste. Sure. Agreed. But why pull it down? IMO, Freedom of expression should be absolute as long as it’s not inciting violence or harm to anyone. Also, art and its rich traditions will remain intact forever but silly ads like these will be forgotten in seconds.”
— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) December 10, 2022
Hansal replied to his tweet. He said, “Sure Munish. You have every right to think so. I’m offended and I have a right to say so. Same FoS.” He further added that it might be too much to ask for it to be pulled down.
He said that it is a way of telling advertisers to be sensitive as well as respectful. They should be respectful particularly of one tradition that, like sports, transcends race/religion/borders. It is one of the greatest unifiers. He advised the advertisers not to ridicule it. Lastly, Munish agreed. He said, “Yes. Can’t argue with that. But we all agree that this is in extremely poor taste. Disgusting.”