KGF Chapter 2, the upcoming Kannada film directed by Prashanth Neel, courted controversy, after the Karnataka State Anti-Tobacco Cell and Health Department objected to a visual from the film’s teaser featuring actor Yash smoking a cigarette.
The teaser, which was released on January 7, shows Yash blowing up jeeps with a machine gun and lighting a cigarette using the barrel of the gun.
Objecting to the scene, the Karnataka Health Department sent a letter to the film’s director, producer Vijay Kiragandur, and Yash. The letter stated that as per the statutory requirement, it is mandatory to display a warning on the screen with the caption “Smoking is injurious to health”, but neither the teaser nor the publicity posters display the message.
The letter stated that the scene was violating Section 5 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) 2003, also known as COTPA 2003.
“Since you have lakhs of followers and fans, it would be common for the youth to follow you and get influenced by these visuals. There is also a possibility of tobacco causing cancer to the youth. We are requesting to immediately take down these visuals and help us build a better and healthy society,” the letter stated.
Suresh Shashtri, PRO of the Karnataka Health Department, informed Silverscreen India that the letter was an appeal to Yash and Prashanth to remove the scene from the teaser and social media platforms as it could set a bad example for the actor’s fans.
Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar told media persons on Thursday that he admires Yash’s work, which was why the appeal was made to him.
The film, which also stars Hindi actors Sanjay Dutt and Raveena Tandon, will release in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam.