Creativity should not get stifled: Raj Nayak

Nayak was speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during a live webcast of ‘Masterminds’

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Oct 19, 2020 10:05 AM
raj nayak kailashnath adhikari

Media maven, former COO, Viacom 18 and founder of House of Cheer, Raj Nayak has said that the fire and trolls surrounding Tanishq advertisement on its new line of jewellery called ‘Ekatvam’ featuring an interfaith couple and their families is unfortunate. Tanishq withdrew its ad facing threats and backlash.

Observing that the intent behind the ad was to promote social harmony and unity and he has not been able to figure out what really was wrong with the ad, he said in the past too there have been some great ads on social harmony and unity when nobody bothered or got offended. It is only now that people have started reacting to things.

“One can keep finding fault in everything if they want. I feel sad that such an incident happened. Anything that unites people as a race anywhere in the world is a good thing. I loved the ad,” said Nayak expressing his disappointment that these days people are spending more time and paying too much importance on connecting religion and creativity.

“The company should not have withdrawn the ad because of the trolls. I understand where they come from and I empathize with them. I also feel it is the job of the state to provide security in such cases” he said.

Nayak was speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during a live webcast of ‘Masterminds’ organized by the public policy and governance-analysis platform.

“You have to look at its content and cannot look at everything with the prism of religion. Creativity should not stifle. If you look at the intent behind the ad, it was about unifying people and social harmony. If people react the way they have, films like ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ would not have become hits..creative freedom as long as it is not harming anyone must be let free” Nayak said.

Responding to a question on why social media has reacted the way it has towards Tanishq Ad, the media doyen said that possibly because on social media, it’s a free for all. He cited the example of Netflix documentary-drama ‘Social Dilemma’ and said there could be many vested interests trying to create animosity between people.

“I really feel sad, especially today when we are in a pandemic and people are facing grave difficulties. This is the time people should come together, there is nothing greater than humanity."

Further, while speaking on television and content on GEC channels Nayak said that though TV is going strong with 190 million households watching television, it still has headroom for another 60 million households. With competition from proliferating channels and OTT platforms, it will have to rethink its content.

“TV and cinema reflect what is happening in society. Earlier, there were a handful of TV channels, now with excellent content on OTT platforms and as a result, people being exposed to new programming, their taste buds are changing. TV is going very strong and though the internet continues to grow there are bandwidth problems and despite their reach, OTT platforms are nowhere close. If TV does not make some changes to its content over a period of time, the migration and cord-cutting will happen,” he said.

Secondly, Nayak said that the lines between broadcast and OTT are blurring. Now with very good content to watch on Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar etc, everything is available on TV. Consumers are going to choose what they like and appeal to them whether it’s on a small box or big screen.

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