You’re fired! There’s no dreadful feeling thing than to lose your job. A firing not only deprives you of your livelihood but it also dents your psyche. The emotional individual is even known to take drastic steps.
Such ignominy is usually reserved for white collar men, but professionals from entertainment world too aren’t spared. The word sack doesn’t exist in television’s lexicon. Instead, they defend their firing saying that the person was contracted till the auditions only. While any organization is free to take such decisions, the problem with television is that such firings are taking pace at an alarmingly rate.
Let’s take a took look at some of the famous (alleged) sackings in small screen’s recent history
*Zara Nachke Dikha 2 hosts Sanaya Irani and Mohit Sehgal replaced by Jennifer Winget and RJ Mantra respectively.
*Bigg Boss 3 winner Vindoo Dara Singh was dropped from Chak Dhoom Dhoom’s jury, after barely 2-3 episodes.
*Former Indian Idol contestant Prajakta Shukre axed from Indian Idol 5 after the audition rounds.
*Eijaz Khan replaced by Hussain for the gala rounds of Dance Premier League. Even an experienced host like Hussain couldn’t save DPL.
*Vishal Malhotra, Megha Gupta sacked from Perfect Bride. Shockingly, sources and anonymous officials claimed that Malhotra even struggled to speak certain Hindi words. The makers found an able replacement in Romit Raj.
* Nach Baliye 3 champions Aamir Ali and Sanjeeda Sheikh were replaced midway through the fourth season. The makers claimed that from hereon, former NB jodis will take turns to host. While past contestants showed up, it was Hiten and Gauri Tejwani who lasted the distance. Mind you, nothing could save the show that year. Nach Baliye 4 was simply a disaster.
* An experienced VJ Shanaz Treasurywala was replaced by resident host Parizad Kolha-Marshall, who couldn’t take Laughter Challenge 4 earlier as she needed time to get into shape after her pregnancy.
In most of the above cases, the official reason given is that the person(s) were contracted for a limited number of episodes or the celebs, especially the daily soap actors struggled to give their time. Off record, officials rant the truth.
Now let’s make it clear; through this feature we have absolutely no intention of reigniting old wounds of such celebs. On the contrary, we are raising the question is it right to treat popular figures in such a shabby way? True, some of them may not possess great anchoring or judging skills, but isn’t the production or the channel aware of it? Why take a man to the middle of the sea and then abandon him? It does no good for the celebrity’s image, and his/her fans certainly don’t welcome seeing their star being subject to such humiliation.
Be it the sacked celebrity, production or the channel, none would be comfortable answering such queries on this issue. In the end, all that we got was quotes from couple of reliable sources.
A source, who has the experience of working in popular comedy and other shows says, “You can have auditions for anchors but not for judges, who usually are established stars from Bollywood and Television. In most cases, it’s the channel who takes the final call. The production can throw their depending weight upon the kind of relationship they share with the channel. We’d conducted a proper audition for Parizad Kolha. The same cannot be said about Shenaz (Treasurywala) who was removed mid-way through the fourth season. Though, I must admit that auditions have taken a back seat these days.”
If production is rendered helpless, why doesn’t the channel take the right call during auditions?
An industry insider explains, “Most channels look for FACE VALUE. However, it’s important that you fit people in the right roles. Let’s take the case of Vindoo. He won Bigg Boss by being himself. Ideally, after winning such a show, he’ll look to encash this popularity in the right medium. For him, it’s got to be films not a dance reality show.
Judges are seldom replaced. It’s the anchors who usually bear the burnt. All channels conduct auditions but you can’t blame them or the production for a wrong choice. These auditions are usually done in closed doors. Most of these anchors do wonderfully well at screen tests, but there they don’t have to give tests in front of a live audience. It’s all together different ball game them. Theatre artists will make great hosts because they know what it takes to perform in front of a live audience. How many of our TV actors have done theatre?”
Some of the biggest Bollywood names too have failed as anchors. Abhishek Bachchan and Suneil Sheity are prime examples. Even a great host like Shah Rukh Khan couldn’t save Kya Aap Paanchvi Paas se Tez Hai?
“Though, everything is scripted on reality shows, there’s a huge gap between script and performance. That’s where most people fail. When the paid studio audience themselves find it boring to watch these guys, why blame the channel or the production. In fact, these celebrities themselves know that the live audience isn’t enjoying, so why will the TV viewers appreciate their work,” the source enunciated.
In that case, isn’t here a serious talent crunch in anchoring?
“Yes, I agree with you thoroughly. We don’t have many good anchors. Unfortunately, TV is a medium where the producers and channel are simply interested in the green bucks. As long as this mentality continues, you will continue to see more firings,” concludes the source.
Perhaps, it’s time for the industry to raise its standards. Will they do it? Hmm! We have our doubts.