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December 2020 Recap: A Look at the Top Social Media Moments

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Source: Twitter logo from https://about.twitter.com/content/dam/about-twitter/company/brand-resources/en_us/Twitter_Brand_Guidelines_V2_0.pdf Walt Disney from youtube screenshot Vijay selfie from his titter account

The year 2020 was rough but the good news is that it is over. As 2020 neared its end, the month of December saw a lot of reminiscing. Twitter and YouTube shared the top moments of the year and Rajinikanth was still going to launch his political party at the beginning of the month. Warner Bros pulled a highly debated move by announcing that all their 2021 slated releases will hit the theatres and HBO Max simultaneously. Disney held its annual Investors Day and announced a slew of new Marvel and Star Wars releases.

A lot happened in December 2020 and Silverscreen India has curated the top 10 moments of the month.

Will he, won’t he?

Rajinikanth had announced that he will join politics and launch a party in December 2017. Fast forward to the beginning of December 2020 and he had announced that he will soon join politics and launch a party.

With concerns over his precarious health situation due to his recent kidney transplant surgery, there were rumours that he may quit politics. However, Rajinikanth promised to put his life on the line for the people of Tamil Nadu. He left for the shooting of his upcoming film Annaatthe in the middle of December so that he can return and concentrate on politics.

However, after four crew members from the Annaatthe shoot tested positive, Rajinikanth (who tested negative) had to be hospitalised due to fluctuations in his blood pressure. Soon after, he called it quits with politics and stated that despite giving his word, he did not want to abandon those believing in him.

Rajinikanth’s ‘will he won’t he’ stance with politics garnered mixed reactions on social media.

‘Funny Boy’ Controversy

Academy Award nominee Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy, the film adaptation of Toronto-based author Shyam Selvadurai’s 1994 novel by the same name, was chosen by Canada in October as its official entry to Oscars 2021. However, soon after the trailer released, the film faced backlash for lack of Tamil representation.

The Queer Tamil Collective, a collective of queer Tamil artists, activists, and educators, had launched an online petition opposing the film and Mehta’s “irresponsible filmmaking practices”. The petition had garnered more than 2,000 signatures.

People called out the makers for submitting the film as a Tamil language contender at the Oscars, but not putting in any effort into casting Ilankai Tamil actors.

However, a few weeks later, Oscars disqualified Funny Boy from competing in the Best International Feature Film category “due to the amount of English dialogue in the film”.

Disney’s Investor Day

Disney held its virtual Investor Day on December 11 and announced a slew of new movies and shows for Disney+.

Disney+ announced to release approximately 10 Star Wars series and Marvel series each, along with 15 Disney live-action, Disney Animation, and Pixar series. Some Marvel movies and shows to release include Hawkeye, Groot, She-Hulk, Ms Marvel, Fantastic Four, and The Guardians of Galaxy.

The Walt Disney Company announced several new spinoffs in the Star Wars franchise including Ahsoka, Rangers of the New Republic, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Rogue Squadron.

Disney also announced that the subscription fee for Disney Plus will be increased by a dollar from $6.99 to $7.99 per month from March 26, 2021. In Europe, the pricing will go up by €2 to €8.99 per month.

Supreme Court issues show cause notice to Kunal Kamra and Rachita Taneja

Comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja were issued show cause notices by the Supreme Court in December and were asked to explain why contempt proceedings shouldn’t be taken against them.

Kamra had criticised the Supreme Court and called it the “Supreme Joke of this country” in November, following which Attorney General KK Venugopal had given his consent to initiate proceedings against him. Kamra’s criticism came after Republic TV chief editor Arnab Goswami was granted bail in a 2018 case of abetment to suicide.

On December 1, AG Venugopal granted sanction to initiate contempt proceedings against Taneja after her channel, Sanitary Panels, had tweeted a stick-figure cartoon on November 11, the day Goswami was released on bail. The cartoon depicted the Supreme Court with a saffron flag and carried the label “Sanghi Court of India”. The image was captioned “Arnab gets bail, real journalists get jail, independent judiciary is fail”.

The apex court has given Kamra and Taneja six weeks to respond but they need not appear physically before the court.

Dhanush joins the cast of ‘Gray Man’

December was a great month for actor Dhanush. On December 17, Netflix announced that Dhanush will be joining the cast of The Gray Man, along with Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas. Soon, Dhanush began trending on Twitter.

The Gray Man marks Dhanush’s second international film, after the 2018 French adventure comedy The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir.

In the same month, it was announced that that Dhanush’s 2019 Tamil film, Asuran with director Vetri Maaran, will be screened at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

This Happened on Twitter

Twitter in December shared a recap of the top moments on the platform in India in 2020. Calling them the “Golden Tweets”, Twitter shared the most liked, retweeted, and quoted tweets of 2020.

While actor Vijay’s selfie with his fans from February 2020 was the most retweeted, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli’s tweet on his wife and actor Anushka Sharma’s pregnancy was the most liked. Actor Amitabh Bachchan’s tweet, announcing him testing positive for Covid-19, was the most quoted.

Twitter also revealed that the hashtags that dominated 2020 included #Covid19, #SushantSinghRajput, and #Hathras.

Twitter later released the list of the 10 most tweeted about South Indian actors in 2020, with Keerthy Suresh and Mahesh Babu topping the list. Vijay’s Master was the most tweeted about South Indian film in 2020. Pawan Kalyan’s Vakeel Saab was the second most-tweeted South Indian film, and Ajith‘s Valimai and Mahesh Babu’s upcoming film Sarkaru Vaari Paata were in the third and fourth positions respectively.

Warner Bros

Warner Bros in December announced that after DC’s Wonder Woman 1984, all their 2021-slated movies will simultaneously premiere on streaming platform HBO Max as well as in theatres in the USA.

The production giant’s announcement came in the backdrop of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic with only 50% of theatres open in the USA.

The move was, however, met with a lot of criticism. Director of Tenet and Inception, Christopher Nolan slammed the move and called it very messy. “It’s sort of not how you treat filmmakers and stars and people who, these guys have given a lot for these projects. They deserved to be consulted and spoken to about what was going to happen to their work,” he said in an interview with ET Online.

Farmers protest and Diljit vs Kangana

In September, the Centre passed three bills to give more “freedom” to farmers and deregulate the agricultural sector in India. However, farmers fear that opening up the economy through the Farm Bills can kill their safety net- the guarantee of the Minimum Support Price – and hamper their livelihood under the pretence of free trade and platform.

Protesting against the Bill, farmers from across the country have been demonstrating at the Singhu and Tikri border points in New Delhi. Many prominent personalities expressed solidarity with the farmers on social media.

Actor Kangana Ranaut, however, criticised the protest and posted a tweet (now deleted) on November 27 claiming that an 82-year-old woman, who had participated in the farmers protest, to be Bilkis Bano- one of the women who had protested in New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Her tweet soon erupted into a war, with Punjabi singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh quickly called her out for her misidentification and shared an interview of the woman with BBC, identifying her as Mahinder Kaur. Ranaut hit back at Dosanjh, calling it a drama, and said that she does not know the woman whom Dosanjh was referring to.

Elliot Page

Actor Elliot Page, known for Juno and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, came out as a a non-binary transgender at the beginning of December. He shared on his social media handle that his personal pronouns were he/him and they/them. He wrote, “I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they, and my name is Elliot.”

His announcement was met with support and love on social media. Actor Anna Kendrick called his words beautiful and that he is a reminder for all to be brave and joyful.

Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Adipurush’ controversy

Of course, what’s a month without any online controversy? Actor Saif Ali Khan had to issue an apology after he was slammed for saying that his upcoming film, Adipurush, with actor Prabhas will show the humane side of Ravana.

In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Khan said, “It’s interesting to play a demon king, less strictures in that. But we will make him humane, up the entertainment quotient, justify his abduction of Sita and the war with Ram as revenge for what was done to his sister Surpanakha by Lakshman, who cut off his nose.”

Soon after, BJP leader Ram Kadam called out Khan’s comments on Twitter and said that they will not allow the movie to show Raavan in a positive light.

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