Tannishtha Chatterjee, known for appearing in films like Gulaab Gang, Unindian, and Angry Indian Goddesses besides a host of other world cinema titles, was present at the show, Comedy Nights Bachao Taaza to promote her next film, Parched.
However, what she thought to be a regular TV affair with random jokes turned out to be a nightmare for the actress.
Apparently, the hosts of the show which is aired on Colors, felt that it was funny to make jibes at Tannishtha's complexion. Understandably, the actress walked out of the show.
Talking to Mumbai Mirror, Tannishtha said, "I had been led to believe that it was going to be a 'Roast'. In the West they cheer your achievements by making fun of them and I was excited about being 'roasted' on a comedy show on a leading national channel."
The actress was referred to as 'kaali kalooti' and the hosts felt nothing wrong or inappropriate in asking her if she has been eating jamun (blackberries) since childhood as a result of which "mooh kala hai."
The actress thought the racist humour will stop after the first segment but even in the second one, jibes on her complexion continued with the term 'kaali kalooti, baingan looti' repeating often.
The show is hosted by Krushna Abhishek, Mona Singh, Ssumier Pasricha, Bharti Singh, Nia Sharma and Sumeet Vyas.
"Even today this is not about me being offended but because a burning issue is being promoted through such shows. It's as bad as making a joke about a marginalised community. That is not the spirit of Parched or the face of a woman who believes dark is beautiful."
Tannishtha saw no point in sitting through the nightmare and told her publicist that she wanted to leave. The show's host didn't understand why she was upset and instead of offering an apology, said they'll 'edit out' portions that she didn't like.
"Racism is rampant in the Indian film industry and being propagated through films and such crass shows. Once I was asked that since my surname is Chatterjee, I must be a Brahmin, so why wasn't I fair complexioned," she told Mirror, adding that Indians themselves don't seem to be too proud of their dark complexion. "Africans are proud of their skin colour, but look at how we treat them in India. We are misguided by a deep-rooted casteism," she said.
She has also written a detailed note about her experience on the show which you can read below.
Also see on HuffPost: