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Ekta Kapoor Wants To Normalise Same-Sex Relationships By Releasing LGBTQ Shows. We’re Here For It!

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There was a time in Indian entertainment when LGBTQ characters were solely put into films ans TV shows to be ridiculed for slapstick comedy. Whether it was men with feminine traits who were always bullied or teased for it, like that one friend of Salman Khan’s in Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya, or the awkwardness around fake gay relationships like Kantaben’s around Aman and Rohit in Kal Ho Na Ho, there was a very uneducated, informed and downright cruel treatment meted out to LGBTQstories on screen. However, in real and reel life, things are changing. Just this year, Ekta Kapoor, under her OTT label ALTBalaji, has dropped two web series that are centred on same-sex relationships—The Married Woman and the soon-to-be-released His Story.

 

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Love their shows or mock their shows, but ALTBalaji has always been something of a trendsetter that has its finger on the pulse of what its audience wants. Their execution might be questionable sometimes (read: Paurashpur), and they may have blipped on the censorship radar for their explicit, sometimes unnecessarily titillating content, but I’d still give them a close A- for effort, especially after The Married Woman.

The show, which premiered last month, stars Ridhi Dogra, Monica Dogra, Imaad Shah, and more, and explores a same-sex relationship between a married woman and the widow of a colleague whom she had feelings for, set in the backdrop of Hindu Muslim communal issues in the country in the late 80s and 90s. The series was much appreciated for the performances of its cast, the storytelling and the music.

 

 

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Also Read: ‘The Married Woman’ Review: A Moving Story Of A Woman’s Self-Discovery, Powered By Good Performances

Riding on the success of The Married Woman, ALTBalaji will be dropping another show, called His Story, next. The series stars Satyadeep Mishra, Mrinal Dutt and Priya Mani, and also explores same sex relationships between the two male leads, one of whom is married. It’s an interesting premise that has already garnered much anticipation.

In fact, recently, Ekta Kapoor tweeted about being asked why she was dropping two web series that revolved around LGBTQ relationships in rapid succession, and her reasoning gave me hope for more inclusive content in our future.

Also Read: 7 Times Indian Films And Shows Blatantly Plagiarised Posters. Why So Much Copycat?

IMO, this is absolutely great. When a trendsetter like Ekta Kapoor decides to get behind the idea of normalising LGBTQ+ relationships and stories on-screen, it makes a huge difference. When the cities and their posh urban class might stick to Western content, platforms like MX Player,  Zee5 and ALTBalaji have managed to reach much deeper in the audience pool. And if that’s where the major change in mindset needs to be triggered. I’m probably not wrong in thinking that it must’ve been this very loyal audience that might’ve questioned why two LGBT themed stories were releasing one after the other. And if they still watch these shows, appreciate them, and it causes even a slight shift in their thought process, that would mean so much in terms of normalising queer relationships and bringing acceptance.

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