The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Thursday asked Netflix to stop streaming Bombay Begums citing an “inappropriate” portrayal of children in the web series.
In a notice, the NCPCR asked Netflix to file an action report within 24 hours, failing which “appropriate legal action” will be taken against the streaming giant.
The NCPCR stated that it received a complaint from a Twitter handle (Gems of Bollywood) about some alleged offending scenes from the series. The commission said such content could “pollute young minds” and could result in abuse and exploitation of children.
“The Commission does not allow representing portraying and glorifying children in India in such a manner on any media platform/internet/OTTs, etc. Netflix should take extra precaution while streaming any content in respect of the children or for the children and shall also refrain themes from getting into such things,” the Commission said in its notice.
“The manner in which the series is portraying children, it is not correct. In this series, they have shown a child of 13 years consuming drugs and alcohol thereby instigating children… It’s totally wrong. It will give a bad message to society. So the OTT’s need to create their own systems to control these and if that’s not working then we will definitely intervene,” NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo told Silverscreen India.
He said that the commission is awaiting for a reply from Netflix.
In case Netflix does not reply, the Commission will use their power under Section 14 and 15 of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, Kanoongo said.
Both the sections enable the Commission to forward a case to a magistrate to try the same and can make recommendations to the government or authority concerned to initiate proceedings, including prosecution.
When contacted, a Netflix spokesperson refused comment.
Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava (Lipstick Under My Burkha), Bombay Begums features Pooja Bhatt, Shahana Goswami, Amruta Subhash, Plabita Borthakur, and Rahul Bose, among others. According to Netflix, the series follows the lives of five women living and hustling in Mumbai, as they break societal shackles and glass ceilings to conquer love, careers and relationships by standing up for each other.