Following a targeted hate campaign by Hindutva social media handles and a Mumbai Police FIR for ‘hurting Hindu religious sentiments,’ Netflix withdrew the Tamil movie ‘Annapoorni,’ starring Nayanthara and Jai.
Zee Studios, the movie’s co-producer, has also written an apologetic letter and promised to cut out the contentious sequences before releasing an edited version.
Annapoorani, released in theatres on December 1, and was recently made available on streaming platform Netflix, follows a Hindu Brahmin woman played by Nayanthara from the temple town of Srirangam who defies social odds to become India’s top chef. Her classmate Farhan (played by Jai) plays her friend who helps her navigate challenges and conflicts, especially regarding cooking and eating meat. After initial conflict, she begins eating meat so that she can cook it in competitions and does not let her caste location hinder her.
On Monday, January 8, the FIR was filed following a complaint submitted by Ramesh Solanki, founder of the Hindu IT Cell, a right wing group. The complaint targeted the lead actors of the film, including superstar actor Nayanthara and Jai, writer-director Nilesh Krishnaa, producers Jatin Sethi, R Ravindran, and Punit Goenka, Zee Studios Chief Business Officer Shariq Patel, and Netflix India’s Head Monika Shergill.