After spending a fair share of time exploring different content on web platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, consumers of daily soaps returned to the comfort of their television sets to indulge in fresh episodes of their favourite serials, last week. But the decision to resume work amid a pandemic left a bitter taste in people’s mouth as news of actors and artistes testing positive for COVID-19 began to trickle in, soon after. JD Majethia, chairman of the Indian Film and TV Producers Council’s TV and web wing, says the wrath that producers are being subjected to is unwarranted when one considered the number of artistes who have fallen prey to the virus.
“Around 80 shows are being shot across Mumbai with 7,000 people getting back to work. It has been 21 days since we resumed, and only four cases have been reported, so far. So, the way people are pulling up producers is unfair,” Majethia tells mid-day, adding that a blind eye is being turned to the efforts put in by those in charge to ensure safety measures are followed.
JD Majethia’s Bhakarwadi was among the shows that resumed shooting
Majethia is quick to acknowledge that despite best practices “sometimes, things happen.” “People are travelling from different places, food is being ordered from out, and private vehicles are being used. So, even though there is a system in place, [the virus can spread]. But, we take utmost care of our crew,” he says, making a case for himself when stating that Parth Samthaan, leading man of Ekta Kapoor’s Kasautii Zindagii Kay was the only crew-member of the show to test positive for the contagious virus. The TV industry, he says, has tied up with Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital to provide aid to artistes.
Apart from Kasautii Zindagi Kay, the shoot of Mere Sai and Ek Mahanayak Dr BR Ambedkar apparently came to a halt after cases of crew members testing positive, came to light.
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