Sona Mohapatra has called out Sony TV and the makers of its singing reality show Indian Idol 11 for “using the theme of sexual harassment for promotion and commercial gain.”
In a Facebook post, Sona highlighted the recent incident where a contestant forcibly kissed Indian Idol 11 judge Neha Kakkar. The singer suggested that the viral clip was used for promotional purposes.
Sona Mohapatra wrote, “Sony TV taking Anu Malik as a judge was a planned, considered & devious choice. They wanted to ride on his infamy for publicity, eyeballs & attention. That their marketing strategy included a contestant forcibly kissing a female judge & that clip making it to the show edit & also ‘made’ viral confirms this intent. Using the theme of ‘sexual harassment’ for promotion & commercial gain is an all time low & in a country where women have very little agency & choice, it is especially disgusting.”
Sona also asked composer and Indian Idol 11 judge Vishal Dadlani if he intended to quit the reality show. She concluded her post, saying, “@vishaldadlani, still part of this sickness or are you ready to quit? How much money is worth being part of this deathly swamp, I ask.”
Vishal, who often takes to Twitter to voice his opinion on several issues, had earlier slammed the contestant for forcing himself on Neha Kakkar. In a reply to a Twitter user, Vishal had said, “I suggested that the Police be called, but Neha decided to let the guy off the hook. He definitely needs psychiatric help, and we will try to help him get that, if we can. #IndianIdol11”
Sona Mohapatra is among the several women from the music industry who accused Anu Malik of sexual misconduct. While Sona had earlier accused him of predatory behaviour, singer Shweta Pandit called him out for misbehaving with her when she was only 15. Neha Bhasin said in a tweet, “I didn’t let myself get into a sticky situation beyond him lying on a sofa in front of me talking about my eyes in a studio.” Sona had also come down heavily on Sony TV for letting Malik be the judge on Indian Idol despite all these accusations.