The News Minute| September 22, 2014| 12.20 am IST
When actor Deepika Padukone gave The Times of India (TOI) a piece of her mind after the media publication posted a video of her that zoomed on her cleavage, it created a furore both in and outside social media. With most supporting Padukone for her reminder to TOI that women have breasts and cleavage too, TOI could do very little other than bearing the brunt.
Well, that was till now. It now looks like the media group has decided to go all guns blazing at Deepika Padukone and other media houses that criticised its story.
In an article titled, "Dear Deepika, our point of view", the TOI says, "Over the past few days, there's been a flood of tweets and stories in other media in support of Deepika Padukone's response to a video and tweet posted in the online entertainment section of TOI. As one of the largest media houses in the world with interests in print, TV, radio and online, we approach each medium differently, as do our audiences. There isn't a one-fits-all formula for either distributing or consuming content across various media."
Responding to Deepika Padukone's post on Facebook that her issue is against the paper propagating the objectification of a real person,and not a character being played, the article says, "Deepika, we accept your reel vs real argument, but what about all the times, and there have been many, when you have flaunted your body off screen â€” while dancing on stage, posing for magazine covers, or doing photo ops at movie promotional functions? What 'role' do you play there? So why the hypocrisy?."
Through the article, TOI also takes on other media outlets and says, "What's equally hypocritical is that several media outlets have freely displayed Deepika's cleavage even as they sounded all outraged on her behalf. Surely they could have reported the story without those pictures?"
TOI in fact even justifies its headline, 'OMG: Deepika Padukone's cleavage show,' saying the headline could have been better, but in the chaotic web world, sensational headlines are far from uncommon.
Taking snide potshots at Deepika Padukone, the article calls her as someone who began her career as a 'calendar girl' for a liquor brand and goes on to ask why she objected the video which has been on YouTube for a year. "Despite having made your point on Twitter, you have chosen to re-tweet every message and given as many interviews as you could. This has obviously been great publicity for you, timed perfectly with the release of your new film.
Defending its action of taking and publishing Deepika's 'cleavage' pictures, the article says, "We believe there's no shame in Deepika showing off her body, but does she now want us to first check with her as to which pictures of her â€” taken at public events â€” we can or cannot publish? Are we going to have a parallel censor board for pictures of film stars taken off screen but in plain sight of the world, as Deepika's was? It's not as if the pictures were shot with hidden cameras, or that someone sneaked into her home, invaded her privacy, and took those pictures without her knowledge/permission."