Thursday , 21 March 2019

Amitabh’s Afterthought

Reports in a section of the media suggested that Amitabh Bachchan took Rs 6.31 crore for a promo of Doordarshan’s new Kisan Channel, which was a pre-poll promise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and launched in May. The legendary actor denied having received any money from the Doordarshan or the advertising agency which had contracted him for the work. He said he did the work pro bono. But there seems to be more in his denial than meets the eye.  If Bachchan worked pro bono why did the advertising agency negotiate with Doordarshan for his fees and take Rs 6.31 crore under that head?  The ad agency said, “Lintas (ad agency) was negotiating with Mr Bachchan’s office on a variety of clauses and terms on behalf of our client DD Kisan. We received formal communication from his office on Monday afternoon that upon reviewing the work in progress contract with his team, Mr Bachchan has taken a decision on principle that he will not charge any fee on this issue.” If Bachchan had decided to do pro-bono service, why did he say so only after the news reports were published? Also, in that case (pro-bono service) how come the ad agency was negotiating with Bachchan’s office for a contract and fees? It clearly suggests that Bachchan took a decision not to take any fees after disclosures in the media.

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