Daniel Fernandes, the stand-up comedian, courted controversy after he posted a video on Monday on YouTube featuring jokes on the death of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the media furore that followed his death.
Fernandes later posted a statement titled “Apology” on social media, in which he apologised for a factual error made during one of his performances in Pune, featured in the video. “I said that Rhea has been acquitted of her charges. That is factually incorrect. She has been released on bail,” read Fernandes’ post. “I stand by everything else I said,” he added. On Thursday, Fernandes wrote on social media “I apologised for a factual error in my video and not for any of the jokes in it.”
The video is a collection of clips from Fernandes’ recent performances. In the video, he spoke about how the media covered Rajput’s death amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Chakraborty’s arrest in the drugs case and the chase for other actors in other drugs cases.
People, especially Rajput’s fans, took offence at the video and called Fernandes out on Twitter.
This incident comes close on the heels of other comedians facing backlash for their content.
On January 1, comedian Munawar Faruqui was heckled, manhandled and stopped from performing by the son of a BJP MLA, who later got the comedian arrested by the Indore Police for Faruiqui’s alleged objectionable remarks on Hindu deities. Faruqui, along with two other local comedians who were performing in Indore that night, and two others continue to be in jail.
A couple of months ago, a contempt of court case was filed against comedian Kunal Kamra after he tweeted jokes on the Supreme Court following the bail granted to editor-in-chief of Republic TV Arnab Goswami. The comedian has refused to apologise.
Rajput died by suicide on June 14, 2020. Three central agencies- the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Narcotics Control Bureau, and the Enforcement Directorate- are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.