Actress Maanvi Gagroo says her opinion on OTT censorship has changed over the years. While she was wholly against the idea till a while back, she now feels some sort of a regulation is necessary, though it need not be censorship.
“Earlier I was against censorship and I thought there should be self-censorship. If I am an adult and I am 18-plus, I should be able to watch whatever I want. OTT is not like television that you switch it on and whatever comes on, you will have to watch it. There are many steps of filtration in OTT — like downloading, subscribing and choosing content,” Maanvi tells.
However, something did change her mind subsequently.
“Now I feel when anything becomes popular and the numbers start increasing, you have to bring some sort of regulation so that nothing is exploited. Regulation does not necessarily mean censorship. Regulation means you keep an eye on certification,” the actress says.
Maanvi Gagroo adds, “A lot of shows on platforms run disclaimers for violence, drug abuse, and nudity. If you still watch it, you can’t blame the makers. However, sometimes the government has to step in. For example if the authorities feel that something can incite violence, they will try to stop it. There is a thin line on how you define something as offensive. Censorship also comes in with other socio-political milieus. Censorship shouldn’t be much on OTT, but there should be a process of certification and regulation.”
Maanvi is part of one of most successful OTT stories, “Four More Shots Please!” She plays Siddhi, and is all set to reprise the character in the third season of the web series and will start shooting for it soon. The bold and fun series, too, has been subjected to raising eyebrows owing to its contemporary theme of showing fierce and independent women living on their own terms.
Maanvi Gagroo has enjoyed popularity after the success of both two seasons of “Four More Shots Please!” Does she think OTT platforms are dissolving the star system and finally actors are getting their due?
“It’s true that on OTT, even a very small part, if it is a well-played part, will get people to notice you. Things like memes add to the popularity of an actor or character, but it is not entirely dissolved because these smaller parts that become popular come and go, and it’s a phase,” she says.
Maanvi adds, “Many OTT platforms are still trying to get big Bollywood names, be it for acting or direction, because the tag of Bollywood means something. They want big names and try to sell with big names, because people would want to watch if a Shah Rukh or Salman is associated with an OTT project. Such names hold weight. There are so many shows that are being made but we only watch the ones that are popular. This goes for films, too. In a web series, people fall in love with characters rather than actors and that is why the star system is not yet dissolved. In films, everything is larger than life and people go for the stars. People don’t go for Chulbul Pandey, they go for Salman Khan.” –ians/ym/vnc