The upcoming second season of The Family Man, Amazon Prime Video’s web series starring Manoj Bajpayee, ran into more trouble after Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko on May 23 wrote a letter to Union Minister of Information and Technology Prakash Javadekar calling for a ban on the show as it allegedly depicted the Tamil community in a poor light.
Vaiko, general secretary of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, wrote, “The trailer of serial The Family Man-2 in Hindi language was recently released… depicting Tamilians as terrorists and ISI agents and having link with Pakistan. Moreover, the sacrifices made by Tamil Eelam warriors were also wrongly shown as terrorist act. Tamil-speaking actress Samantha was shown as a terrorist and having connection with Pakistani terrorists. These descriptions have hurt the sentiments of Tamil people and Tamil culture and offensive against the Tamil community. The people of Tamil Nadu are raising serious objections over such act and are protesting against the serial.”
Requesting for “immediate action” to stop the release of the series, Vaiko warned that “people of Tamil Nadu will react very seriously” and that the “government would have to face serious consequences”.
On May 19, Bajpayee released the trailer of the second season starring Samantha Akkineni as Raaji, a Sri Lankan Tamil rebel. Taking offence to the scene that talks about a coalition between the “rebels and ISI”, many people criticised that the scene was derogatory for Tamils as it depicted them as terrorists. Further, some people claimed that the scene tarnished the image of Sri Lankan Tamils and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a militant outfit that fought for a separate state for Tamils and against the discrimination faced by the community in Sri Lanka. Many social media users called for a ban of the series.
#TheFamilyManOnPrime trailer out now.https://t.co/kwrn1eZVZY@SrikantTFM @PrimeVideoIN @rajndk @BajpayeeManoj @Samanthaprabhu2 @Priyamani6 @sharibhashmi @sumank @Suparn @shreya_dhan13 @hinduja_sunny @DarshanKumaar @SharadK7 @ishahabali pic.twitter.com/9CEqEGJVwY
— manoj bajpayee (@BajpayeeManoj) May 19, 2021
Besides facing backlash on social media with #Familyman2_Against_Tamils trending within hours of the trailer’s release, the series was also called out by Tamil filmmaker-turned-politician and chief co-ordinator of the Naam Tamilar Katchi Seeman. He said that the series “seeks to intentionally portray the LTTE as terrorists and Thamizhs as vicious people”. He called for the series to be banned as it “fails to portray” the community that is on the “brink of extinction with the greatest wounds and injustices inflicted”. He claimed that films like Inam and Madras Café, that portrayed the community in the wrong manner, were banned in Tamil Nadu due to widespread opposition.
— சீமான் (@SeemanOfficial) May 21, 2021
The Family Man is a nine-part series created and produced by filmmakers Raj and DK, who have also directed the show along with Suparn S Varma. It is written by Suman Kumar and Raj and DK. The first season of The Family Man premiered in 2019. The second instalment will star Priyamani, Devadarshini Chetan, Mime Gopi, Sharad Kelkar, N Alagamperumal, Anandsami, and Shreya Dhanwanthary.
While the makers and the streaming service have not issued any response regarding the backlash, Raj and DK in an interview with PTI said that the series portrays “the diversity of India’s south and the north and how “we all are part of a big nation”.
“We were excited about mixing up the languages and picking the people for that particular language. Like Moosa, played by Neeraj Madhav, is a Malayali actor coming and playing a Malayali character. You are not hiding the accents. Priyamani who is playing Suchitra has a bit of Tamil accent and we aren’t coaching her to speak more Hindi,” they said.
DK mentioned that the series paved the way to “create strong female characters”.
The second season of The Family Man will stream on Amazon Prime Video from June 4.