As the television industry comes into its own, its controversies are also getting bigger by the day. While sometimes, the fracas is between the actors and their producers, sometimes it is about their personal lives. And 2016 was no different. Rather it had much more masala and ripples off the camera than on it. Often, it involved the biggest stars and shows of the television too. After all, that’s the price you pay for being a celebrity, your life unfurls in front of the world.
We picked the 10 biggest controversies that hogged the small screen this year.
1. Pratyusha Banerjee suicide
April began on a shocking note when it was revealed that 24-year-old Pratyusha, known for playing Anandi in Balika Vadhu, was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her home. Thus began the blame game. While her parents accused her boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh for instigating her suicide, Rahul instead said it was her parents who had left the actor mentally tortured. Though the case is still pending in the court, it once again highlighted the insecurities people have to fight in showbiz.
2. Kapil Sharma vs Colors
This ugly spat began late last year and only ended this year after both Kapil Sharma and Colors CEO Raj Nayak washed their dirty linen in public. With what began with money issues, further found roots when Comedy Nights With Kapil found its rival on the same channel, Comedy Nights Bachao. Call it ego war or breach of contracts, but Kapil soon ended his long tie-up with Colors and pulled out his hit comedy show only to find a perfect welcome on Sony where Kapil’s team returned with a revamped version and a new packaging, The Kapil Sharma Show. While Kapil’s fans only had to switch a channel to find him tickling their funny bones once again, Colors was left struggling to fill up the vacuum left by Kapil’s show there. And amid all this, it was Sony which danced to the banks!
3. Shilpa Shinde and Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hai
Shilpa’s messy exit from the comedy show and the production channel claiming a “breach of contract” and tantrums from the actor stretched on for several weeks. While Shilpa refused to sign any exclusive contract with the channel citing that the makers made her work like a “puppet”, the producers did not take long to replace Shilpa with actor Shubhangi Atre to play the popular role of Angoori Bhabhi.
4. Sofia Hayat turns a nun
Known for her risque photoshoots and unedited revelations about going under the knife when she was apart of Bigg Boss house in 2013, Sofia declared in June that she has adopted spirituality and become a nun. Now she was Gaia Sofia Mother. She even gave up her silicone implants. Now, this was not the stuff you could expect from someone named the new “Curvy Icon” by Vogue Italia. However, soon she was soon back to flaunting her assets and posting videos in her innerwear on Instagram. Yes, we are as confused as you!
5. Tannishtha Chatterjee, John Abraham and Comedy Nights Bachao Taaza
Tannishtha went on the comedy show to promote her film Parched, but came out bashing it for passing racist comments against her skin tone. She even wrote a Facebook post to express anger, accusing the hosts of the show of taking things too far in the name of a ‘roast’. Host Krushna Abhishek and channel Colors explained their side of the story too. Similar stuff happened when the cast of the show made fun of John Abraham’s acting while he was there to promote Force 2. The show is soon going off air.
6. Swami Om on Bigg Boss 10
Soon after he entered the house, an old video emerged of him physically assaulting a woman on national television. A little more probe and it was revealed that Swami is involved in several legal cases too. He even exited the show for a few days to attend a court hearing in Delhi. He soon re-entered the house to continue with his banter on the reality show too. And Swami Om is a chapter we will take to 2017 with us, it seems.
7. Ratan Rajput molested on the sets
Ratan was allegedly molested by a lightman on the sets of Santoshi Maa, where she played the lead. According to reports, she complained about the incident to the production house. But when no action was taken, she stopped going for the shoot. The lightman was eventually sacked.
8. Pooja Missra accused Salman Khan of rape
As bizarre as it may sound, but television actor and former Bigg Boss contestant Pooja Missra continued to hog controversy this year too, this time by accusing Salman Khan and Shatrughan Sinha of allegedly raping her! She had earlier even said that Sonakshi Sinha and her mother Poonam Sinha did black magic on her at a party. All this after she had already assaulted a hotel staff last year!
9. Tina Dutta molested on an airline
Uttaran actor Tina Dutta wrote a Facebook post revealing that she was molested by a co-passenger on Jet Airways Mumbai-Rajkot flight. She said that the man tried to “touch her inappropriately” and also express disappointment that the flight crew did not pay heed even when she complained. According to her, all they did was change the seat of the man. Tina said it was more about the issue of women’s safety and how it is never taken as a serious matter.
10. Comedian Rehman Khan arrested on rape charges
Rehman who had made the audience laugh in shows like Mad In India, The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Comedy Circus, was reportedly arrested on rape charges after a 30-year-old woman filed a complaint against him. She said they became friends on social media and later Rehman allegedly took Rs 2 lakh as loan from her. But when asked for the money, the comedian allegedly called her to a hotel, raped her and shot it on his phone and later began using the clip to blackmail her.