Recently at a media event to promote her new film Dobaaraa, Taapsee Pannu got into a heated argument with a photographer. The entire ugly spat was recorded on video. Taapsee says the paparazzi needs to respect an actor’s personal space. “See, I believe respect a two-way street. I have worked in the Tamil, Telugu and Hindi industries and I have dealt with the paparazzi in all three industries. A lot of them are my friends. But some of them sometimes forget that there is a very thin line between being a public figure and public property.”
Taapsee Pannu on her run-in with the paparazzi; says, “There is a very thin line between being a public figure and public property”
Taapsee asserts she is not public property. “I never call them for my personal publicity. They are invited by the production houses. That’s why there were there for an event for Dobaaraa. As an individual, she objects to being bullied by the photographers. “You should hear the tone in which they sometimes speak. It is just so insulting to us. The way that gentleman spoke to me it seemed as though he was doing me a favour by clicking me. Even my parents don’t scold me in that tone. I don’t even know how to describe it to you. I was given a schedule to follow. I was doing that. Why should I be at the receiving end of this tone, as if I have committed a crime?!”
She feels the paparazzi sometimes takes advantage of the fact that they have the camera in their hands. “My only crime was, I was on the other side of the camera. Lately with the social-media culture anyone with a camera or a phone is a paparazzi. The camera gives you a one-sided narrative. It is very easy in today’s day and age to target a person and demean that person by putting out one-sided videos.”
Taapsee thinks the other side of the story remains untold. “We are not morons .We are not illiterates to lose our cool on video without reason. I refuse to accept I was disrespectful to anyone. I was calm I kept smiling respectfully although that gentleman did not respect me at all. He kept making faces at me and he talked to me in a very derogatory tone. I did not want to retaliate. I folded my hands and accepted whatever he had to say.”
The Dobaaraa actress feels the photographers must not take advantage of their privileged position behind the camera. “Certain members of the paparazzi feel that just because they’ve the power to put one-sided content on social media that makes us look ill-tempered, they have the upper hand. Sadly, they are the windows for the public to celebrities and hence there are a lot of people who misuse that power. I am as much a human being as anyone who is reading this interview. When spoken to rudely I have the full right to ask why I am being spoken to in that way. I did nothing wrong. We are all in the same industry. They need to respect me as much as I respect them. Just because we on this side of the camera it doesn’t mean only we need to behave politely.”
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