Kunal Nirola on Smoking/ Drinking ban in films: Actors must take responsibility for such scenes

It has always been a matter of huge debate when it comes to people getting influenced by scenes in movies and TV shows. To make sure that no one tries to copy characters smoking or drinking on screen, the Kerala state legislative committee on women, transgender, children and differently-abled has recommended removal of such scenes from movies and television serials. The panel has also recommended that Censor Board permit screening of movies only after removal of such scenes. The current rules make it mandatory to show statutory warning during smoking, drinking scenes.

Actor Kunal Nirola says that while it is true that people copy their favourite characters, removing all such scenes will cause a major disruption in the storyline too. “Of course people are influenced by movies, especially the youth, who are below 18. I am from Chandigarh and I have seen people getting influenced by movies there a lot. The time when Udta Punjab released, the youth there were found doing drugs. They felt like it is wrong but they were still influenced. So films do have an influence but if we totally stop it, the creative idea of what we are portraying in a film will get blocked,” he says.

He adds, “There are movies where it is necessary to show such scenes. Like in Udta Punjab, if they wouldn’t have shown drugs, it would not have made sense. If it is a Hugh Jackman film and he is smoking a cigar in it, there is obviously a reason for why he is doing it in the scene. Like recently, Kabir Singh has Shahid was seen playing a guy who drinks lot of alcohol and smokes a lot but that was because he was depressed. I feel that actors must take responsibility for these scenes and tell their viewers that they should not try to copy them.”