Monday, November 10, 2008

How Can She Slap?

Listen, will someone just answer this guy's question?

I can't decide if this video is the funniest or most disturbing thing I've seen this month.


tanh1980 said...

From The Times Of India

This small town boy has dashed off a legal notice to the makers of Dadagiri. He’s upset with what happened on the reality show. Reality shows may have their fixed scripts and sensational turn of events, but Ravi is in no mood to take things lying down.

“This incident occurred four months ago. The participants of the show had to pass through the litmus test of abuses and spats. And it was all scripted! We were all given our parts where 70 per cent was to be said as is and 30 per cent would be improvisations,” says Ravi. “There was this girl called Isha opposite me who was supposed to abuse me and I was to retaliate, but calmly. After a while when it came to improvisations, I presume she was out of words and came and slapped me hard. I was shocked and in the heat of the moment, I slapped her back. That led to the entire unit of about 70 people jumping on me beating me black and blue. It was a miracle in itself that I managed to escape from there,” he says.

So how did this incident get flashed in the media now? “Luckily for me, somehow the tapes got leaked out and they were being shown on all the channels. I got myself a copy from one of the news channels and was happy that finally I acquired the proof to support me. And this time I will not be quiet. Just because they have power, it doesn’t give them the licence to pull down people. I have sent a legal notice to the producers and asked for an apology publicly for defamation,” avers Ravi, who is currently working in Ekta Kapoor’s Kahaani Humare Mahaabharat Ki on 9X.

This blog has some interesting comments too:
Indian reality TV going tits up

AKS said...

This was fucked up.

M. said...

disturbing indeed

supersizeme said...

I'm so glad someone else on god's green earth used the term 'disturbing' in relation with this.
Yu think that clips bad, check the remix out.

ps. the guy rocks, she needed it, i mean HE, that thing in micro shorts, wig and whip is most definitely a bloke, hence it's perfectly acceptable to slap her..i mean IT! especially when IT asks for it.

NB said...

Here are the cases for and against the protagonists:




Case Against:

Went beyond her mandate in the script, thereby provoking the incident

possibly felt entitled to slap the dude, to a perceived difference in her background/class or due to some power tripping that arose during the course of her role playing as a bully


Is a girl (can therefore slap with impunity while maintaining a legitimate expectation not to be slapped in return)

was playing her part

didn't ask for anyone to hit him/respond on her behalf

didn't even cry (which is quite impressive given the force behind his slap)



Case Against

Hit a girl,

slapped with wildly disproportionate force (basically an open handed punch)

proceeded to approach aggressively after the slap and then shout aggressively at her and at the co-host shortly after the slap

Case For:

Slap was a "heat of the moment" reaction

Post slap aggression/shouting was inherently defensive, upon realization of his erroneous reaction

was not the first to break the rules of the script

Was reacting to real class bullying as opposed to scripted theatrical bullying

After the heat of his initial reaction did not respond to attacks with violence (just with crying and slightly pathetic sobbing)


Mob of North Indian Men


Case For:

Defended the honor of a defenseless girl, brutalized by one heck of a slap.

Case Against

At best: Force was excessively punitive and not protective

At worst: Force was excessively applied for enjoyment, self gratification, and ego, and with a class justification



They're all a bunch of assholes.

So its disturbing, but quite funny when you accept that they're all a bunch of assholes.


Anonymous said...


Case against girl:


AKS said...

@ NB

I don't quite agree with you on the they're all a bunch of assholes. I don't think the contestant should be regarded as an asshole.

Now you've not mentioned this, and correct me if I'm wrong, but there appears to be a presumption that he's already an ass for agreeing to participate in a show such as this. Even if this is not your view, I've heard it said a hundred times that participants in 'reality shows deserve what they get'. But why? And why are we so sure that these participants know that what they're getting in to?

Lets be clear I'm not saying that people shouldn't be held responsible for their own actions or that we start adopting 'nanny-state' measures. But I do feel that, especially as reality shows seek to push new boundaries they start exploiting people's emotions, and their primary target are people who are underprivileged and vulnerable.

Now imagine that the slap was in fact part of the show and the kid had signed a disclaimer that he would not hold the TV station responsible for anything - not that unheard of. What if he was also told that he may be slapped? Does this absolve the T.V. station of responsibility? I'm not so sure. A participant on a show called Dadagiri is obviously going to say that he can take but he has no experience of being in front of TV, let alone being humiliated on it. Isn't it reasonable to ask that the television producers and directors who witness people and their reactions to different situations (and then exploit these further) be made responsible to adhere to a higher standard of duty of care?

NB said...


Dude did you even read my case for and against the Slapper-Crying-Wailing-Dude (i.e. the contestant)???? I get what your saying and I made the exact same points.

Im not presuming hes an ass for entering the show. Thats cool. Im presuming hes an ass for the .reasons I listed in my case against. If anything, the woman is an ass for deviating wildly from the shows script (you can read it in my case against her)

Anyways, on balance, hitting girls is a no-no, and if you've gone and done it, fine, but his reaction following the slap was aggressively defensive, rather than shock/remorse.

So yeah, I understand where hes coming from, but he is still culpable for his slap. Fault can be mitigated for the reasons you stated, by not excused entirely.

And if, after having slapped the face off a girl he can claim 'emotional reaction', he has to stand up and deal with the 'emotional reaction' he got from the group of men who beat him up.

That said, I'm happy about the legal action hes taking (As mentioned in tahn1980s comment).

AKS said...

I did read your comment NB and I didn't say for a fact that you were claiming what I was arguing against. I did feel that your comment was clear on this subject, and I also just wanted to make a broader comment about reality shows.

NB said...

Oh ok, I misunderstood.

I do agree that part of the appeal of reality TV shows is that they pick people who are vulnerable. And by that i mean washed out celebrities, token black people/minorities (like the gay pakistani who was put on Big Brother).

Its basically a playpen and a sandbox for ridicule magnets (George Galloway in a Catsuit) and slightly 'off centre' members of society.

Does the choice of contestants neccessitate a higher standard of care? Not sure. In what respect do you mean though? With respect to the hosting (as in this case)? Or wrt the environemt/sandbox the contestants are placed in? Personally, Im dont really know.

Most of the problems that do arise on these types of shows stem from the actual choice of the contestants, and the premise of the show itself (i.e that contestants be bullied or that they be put into play with each other).

So i dont know if its still relevant to have a higher standard of care *post* the act of 'negligence'. Its like putting a rascist in a jail cell with a minority, and then requiring a higher standard of care with respect to the minority's safety. You have essentially willfully created the circumstance your supposed to protect against. They told this girl to bully him. How would they discharge that standard of care? I suppose they could have a protocol in place for when things go wrong, so that people likey howcanyouslapme dont get the shit kicked out of them when things go off script and escalate.

I dont know where im going with this. what do you think?

AKS said...

I think I've led you a little astray with my higher standard of care statement. I guess what I meant was that TV producers should be held a lot more responsible for stuff that happens on their shows, and not because the participants are vulnerable but because they have greater knowledge of what could happen. The raison d'etre behind participants going to these shows is the belief that they can outwit those in control, but this is in fact exceedingly rare. Its kind of like gambling, people keep on going in thinking they'll make money but in the end the Casino always wins.

A few years ago a participant on Jerry Springer murdered his ex-wife hours after appearing with her on an episode of the show titled "secret mistresses confronted." I know that the show was taken to court but I can't find out what happened in the case. (I wish I had Lexis Nexis.)

My point is that the people controlling reality tv shows have a much better understanding on what's going to have an impact on people; in fact, they're betting on people to flip out. I think they ought to be held culpable.

In the first statement after the Springer murder a spokesman for Jerry Springer stated that they were in no way responsible for the despicable actions of a deranged murderer. Their claim relied primarily on the fact that the man was an adult who had agreed to come on the show, knowing full well what the show was about.

Now that doesn't sell with me. I don't think anybody goes on to the show thinking that they will lose their cool. But they do, and they do so because the producers are a lot more experienced and know exactly what will tip them over the edge. So if you're going to tip someone over the edge, don't you bear some responsibility for their actions?

Ahsan said...


Reality shows don't kill people; people kill people.

No, seriously, these are interesting and vexing issues to consider. My only concern with charging the instigator/tipper-over with the crime, or holding them partly responsible, is: where does the chain stop?

For instance, all of us have millions of things that have influenced us and the way we think/act. If I go and murder someone tomorrow, do we hold my 5th grade teacher responsible for when she threw me out of class even though the guy next to me was talking and I wasn't? I realize this is a silly example, but my point is only to say: if we go with what you're advocating, where does the chain of responsibility stop?

AKS said...

Ahsan, I do not at all advocate some absolutist measure to tackle this issue. You're right in asking "where does the chain stop?" I don't really have an answer for you on that one.

In this case you can't apply a straight rule because the parameters remain undefined - i.e. we do not know which contestant will lose it and what will trigger him to do so. Its much easier in say cars - seat belts prevent death, so manufacturers could easily be required to make seat belts a standard item.

I'm convinced that TV producers/directors exploit participants and at times I would personally consider them partially responsible for the actions. Perhaps, that's what the courts should do, judge each case on its own merits.

There's actually an interesting case going on in the U.S. Supreme Court, FCC v Fox Television, which I read about in today's Slate. It regards the airing of abusive words, primarily fuck, on network tv. The FCC maintains an arbitrary system of judging what is acceptable and what isn't and this is being challenged by Fox which was fined after Bono and Nicole Ritchie said fuck during the broadcast of the Billboard awards.

This is the best passage from the piece:

Justice Stephen Breyer wants to know how the five-second-delay-bleeping thingy works and why it only works sometimes. Garre explains that Richie's expletives weren't bleeped because "they only had one person working the bleeping machine" that night.

Stevens proves he is our kind of jurist when he asks whether the FCC ever "takes into consideration that the particular remark was really hilarious?"


NB said...

I agree with AKS, in that the producers of such shows should be more accountable to what happens to their contestants on said shows.

The reason why they should be held accountable has to do with what Ahsan talked about, namely the chain of causality, and setting reasonable parameters on it to avoid any injustice meted out to a hypothetical teacher in the 5th grade.

In terms of the law, the standard is clear. Take the prison example i gave. It was an actual one. Prison authorities in the UK were negligence or malicious in placing a minority with a racist in a single prison cell. with no oversight. They were liable for his death. This is because certain criterion were met:

a) He was in their care, and that too a high level of care (as he had surrendered his agency to the prison authorities, and they exercised a considerable amount of control over all aspects of his life)

b) The incident was reasonably foreseeable

The test of reasonable forseeability is a standard reasonableness test applied in crime and Tort law. It is factual test (not a legal test) put before the jury. Objectively speaking, the It would not be 'reasonably forseeable' for 5th grade teacher to expect a student to commit murder X years down the line. It would be reasonably forseeable that a show about bullying which retains room for unscripted aggression could potentially lead to an instance wherein a contestant was treated with physical violence in a manner that was contrary to his expectations. You may feel that the distinction, while obvious, is arbitrary in pure logic terms. However the law operates and makes such distinctions on an everyday basis, and I daresay quite correctly, at least in the UK. You cannot parse 'reasonably forseeble', the words bear their own plain meaning and require only application.

That combination of knowledge and control is the basis for their liability. Additionally, the fact that the producers have created the situation and are profiting from it adds an additional moral onus upon them to bear the costs of any such mishaps.