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An Open Letter To Shilpa Shukla

June 17, 2015 6:20:50 PM IST
By Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial
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Dear Shilpa

It was a pleasant surprise to hear your voice on the other end of the line when the phone rang. I knew you were alive, but I was wondering if I could be wrong. You see, I saw your picture on a website which said: 'recommended news' with the headline 'BA PASS actress Shikha Joshi commits suicide'.

Now that's old news, but seeing your picture with the news item I was wondering if I missed another story. So I read, and understood that the image was a mistake. But still, I had to find out!

Whew! Please pump up the volume on your music system and dance to Celine Dion's 'I'm Alive'.

It's silly and at the same time, sad. Entertainment Journalism has indeed hit its nadir. Standards have plummeted since the entertainment media opened up to daily newspapers almost 20 years ago. Reporting [in this field] has gone from being maniacal to insane.

You have stories of television stars twisting their ankle on the sets or another actresses' pug having a problem or another one having a maid issue. I mean all sorts of silly entertainment news have infested our daily life and at most times one has to laugh it off.

Worse is when a movie is about to release. We have stories of how stars played pranks [during the shooting, which would have been months ago], or how another incident happened which is fed to the hungry entertainment journalists who lap up every damn thing.

My question is this: If a star played a prank, why is it not reported when it happened and why during the release?

Moreover, there is this fetish in most media houses to write only about these so-called stars. If you cannot, then stories are concocted with quotes which go like this: ''According to our sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.'' I know of one such journalist who was asked to leave the organization as every 'source' in his story was in his head!

Anyways, coming back to your issue, you are a star in your own right and need to be treated with respect. I'm surprised no journalist picked up this lapse and reported on it.

Just yesterday, we reported how a radio station had blatantly copied Bhairavi Goswami's honking campaign (So, who's the Horny One). Imagine if it was a big actress whose campaign was hijacked. There would have been endless debates on the 'News Hour'.

I understand it's a nightmare for you to answer calls and assure your well-wishers that you are well and alive. I also understand that you don't have a PR machinery at hand to put things right.

Don't worry, neither does a Rolls-Royce!

God Bless You
Martin D'Souza
(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be...)

Earlier Open Letter to Shilpa Shukla

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