A reality show in Zee Telugu called ‘Bathuku Jatka Bandi’ has caused public outrage after the show’s anchor, actress Geetha, verbally abused an LGBT couple on the show. The couple are a 20-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man. Geetha called their relationship a “sin” because the man is transgender.
She humiliated the couple with questions like, “Aren’t you ashamed?” and “How can you have sex?”
At one point, she even threatened to hit the woman with ‘slippers’.
The show usually invites families to openly discuss their financial and other issues in the presence of a counsellor and a lawyer. The couple were on the show with their respective families, in an attempt to settle their dispute and get married. The controversial episode was aired on October 31.
Geetha, who spoke to the man first, asked him, “When she came to propose you, how could you have said anything, isn’t she a girl?” She further said, “I know girls and girls and boys and boys are marrying each other. But, do you think this is practically possible?”
Ridiculing the man for his clothes and hairstyle, she asked why his parents hadn’t done anything to “correct” him. She also said that same-sex relationships were bad imports from Western culture, and shouldn’t be followed by Indians.
When talking to the woman, Geetha appeared to lose her temper, and began berating her: “Aren’t you ashamed for staying with another girl? I will thrash you and break your legs for doing this.”
As a solution, Geetha told the man’s parents that they should seek medical help for him. Geetha also told the woman’s parents that they should “get her married and send her somewhere.”
Many viewers called for an apology on social media, describing Geetha’s comments as stemming from ignorance and bigotry.
@ZeeTVTelugu must come out with an apology to the couple who came on their show & were attacked verbally by the show host.
— Aakash Chandran (@ChandranAakash) November 6, 2016
— Badri Janu (@BadJanu) November 6, 2016
Film actor Geetha who hosts the show “Bathuku Jataka Bandi” on Zee Telugu, had insulted a queer couple for both… https://t.co/xbmoYNEHaD
— Gaylaxy (@GaylaxyMagazine) November 5, 2016
— Geetha (@geetmh) November 5, 2016
Am shocked at the insensitivity displayed by an anchor of a reality show towards a lesbian couple – shaming them repeatedly 1/2 @zeetelugu
— Geetha (@geetmh) October 31, 2016
Watch the trailer of the episode: