Ashamed on social media for skin tone, Bengali TV actor Shruti Das files cyber complaint

Actors have always been the favorite target of online trolls for reasons ranging from weight, outfit, personal life to even skin tone. While some respond on social media, others choose to ignore them.

Bengali TV actress Shruti Das, often targeted for her dark complexion, however, could not bear to lie down any longer and filed a cyber complaint with the Kolkata police on Thursday.

Das, who debuted in 2019 on the Bengali soap opera Trinayani, said she had been humiliated for her complexion over the past two years but reached a point where she couldn’t take it anymore as the attacks became more and more personal.

“At first, everyone around me asked me to ignore the trolls, and me too. But it only got more vicious over time. I am in a stable relationship with the director of my first TV series ‘Trinayani’, and the Hate Squad, upon learning of this, made some nasty remarks, questioning my character and talent.

“I thought if I took it any further it would only give them more reason to continue with this hatred,” the 25-year-old, who now stars in Desher Maati, told PTI.

The actor, who tagged Kolkata Police on Facebook to draw attention to the nasty comments made to them, has been asked to email the details to his cyber cell.

A senior police officer said the case was under review.

The Kolkata Police Cybercell received an email from actor Shruti Das regarding online abuse she faced due to her dark complexion.

“The actor, in his complaint, said she has been receiving such hate since 2019. She also attached screenshots of the comments on social media,” the officer said.

Das noted that many in the industry have also made her complexion a topic of discussion, with some members of the production units saying that she would not have had her second gig if she had not received the correct one. type of makeup. and presentation in the first soap.

She further pointed out that she was not the first actress to be hit hard by her skin color. “Some of my elders, who are now household names, went through similar difficult situations for their complexion,” Das argued.

Film and TV actor Parno Mitra, when approached, said it was shameful that people were being targeted for their skin tone in a country like India, where most people are brown.

“With the advertising world, media and film industries having glorified fair skin color for so long, it is only natural that this prejudice against skin color still exists. Often, we are told to put on makeup in a way that lightens our complexion a few shades. I usually avoid too much makeup, ”Mitra said.

Das beau and director Swarnendu Samaddar said he tried to silence trolls on social media every now and then, but it didn’t help much.

“Appearance alone cannot ensure success in the industry. Talent counts more than anything else. Not just Shruti, there
are several others who have made a name for themselves through talent. Trolls continue to make offensive remarks regardless of an individual’s feelings. Strong measures should be launched against them, ”he said.

Echoing him, Leena Gangopadhyay, screenwriter and chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Women, said that trolls and memes are welcome as long as they don’t spark personal hatred or spit hate.

“Such vicious attacks should be stopped before things get out of hand. Exemplary punishments should be inflicted on those who make such offensive remarks. We will talk to the cyber cell agents about it, ”Gangopadhyay told PTI.

Cyber ​​law expert Bivas Chatterjee said laws regarding online crime and bullying need to be tightened in the country.

“Almost 98% of online crimes go unreported. I’m glad Shruti Das talked about it and lodged a complaint. Measures could be taken against his trolls if they made obscene comments, the law provides for it, ”he added.

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