ALTBalaji head Ekta Kapoor took to Twitter to respond to trolls who’ve been questioning the platform’s recent LGBTQ-themed shows, A Married Woman and His Storyy. Both these back-to-back releases explore same-sex relationships. While the former has garnered praise since its premiere in March, His Storyy is set to release this month.
This is for everyone who has been asking me why we are releasing two same gender love stories in a span of two months. To them, I would like to say that we do millions of opposite sex love stories & no one asks that.
— Ekta Kapoor (@ektarkapoor) April 13, 2021
Emphasising the importance of silver screen representation of the LGBTQ community, she added,
That’s how marginalized and lowly represented stories of the LGBT community are. Acceptance for all kinds of love and ALTernate storytelling is what we, at ALTBalaji wish to showcase with our stories! Our recent launch, #TheMarriedWoman has been loved and appreciated by all! We’re humbled with the response of the audience and critics alike on our same gender love story! Here’s hoping, our next show, #HisStoryy also makes a place in your hearts and helps people out there who are scared to be true to themselves.
Kapoor further explained how staying closeted can be claustrophobic, and how normalising these love stories is a step in the right direction. She also drew upon a dialogue from The Married Woman to express her beliefs.
Staying closeted could be claustrophobic, in a world where accepting one’s sexuality and gender choice is a constant struggle, let’s normalize these love stories one step at a time. Thank you India for giving us this support and acceptance in this alternative storytelling space. As our favourite dialogue from #TheMarriedWoman goes- “Love is beyond everything. It’s beyond sexuality. It’s beyond conditioning. It’s beyond gender” #LoveIsLove
Here’s how Twitter responded
Most Twitterati stood in support of Ekta Kapoor’s statement, giving the trolls close to no room to retort.
I am watching the series Married Women …a big thank you for such beautiful portrayal of a relationship. Showing women of certain age as desirable and longing for intimacy with sensitivity is much appreciated. I have started following u…more power to u !
— Dr Ruchi Anand (@DrRuchiAnand3) April 14, 2021
Thank you Mam for being pioneer in producing same sex love stories in web series domain in India. I am queer person and I liked Married Woman very much. Look forward with high expectations to His Storyy. And, Romil & Jugal remain my favourite. Please make its season 2. Please
— Roshan M (@mxroshanm) April 15, 2021
Never expected such kind of masterpiece from @altbalaji and you.. Kudos to you & of course your entire team.Eagerly waiting for #TheMarriedWoman season 2 with same cast especially @iRidhiDogra @MonicaSDogra who made this series beyond our expectation 🙏
— Paramita Bhadra (@paramita_bhadra) April 14, 2021
Why are we still questioning LGBTQ-themed shows and representation?
We wish we could say that we’ve come a long way since the scrapping of Section 377 in 2018 but such instances are a harsh reality check. The fact that Ekta Kapoor had to come forward to defend the release of just two LGBTQ-themed shows is shameful. Isn’t it time we move forward from our performative activism of Instagram stories and tweets?
The LGBTQIA+ community’s struggle for basic rights and representation extends beyond the realms of pride parades and consumerist brand activism.
Are LGBTQ-themed shows and films the ultimate solution? Absolutely not. But they are definitely a step forward. In a celeb-crazed nation like ours, inclusive storytelling may have the potential to influence the masses. As Ekta reiterated, love is love. Let’s not resist any opportunity to move towards becoming a more empathetic and accepting society.