“Self-regulation is a bigger disease than an actual obvious clear law, not that I am asking for a law. We should take from the broadcast example and not have any self-regulation, because it’s only going to work for big brand platforms, and not for anybody else,” said Abhigyan Jha, CEO of Undercover Productions. Jha was speaking at MediaNama’s roundtable on online content regulation, held in Mumbai on December 13, with support from Netflix and Amazon. Note that quotes are not verbatim, and have been edited for clarity. Recounting his experience of making content for TV, Jha said that self-regulation “destroyed” television. He cautioned against a TV-like self-regulatory code for online streaming platforms because it might result in the creation of “bland content”. “We did one Movers & Shakers, but nobody else did a show like that for 10 years, before I did Jay Hind! online. There is no show that names names and makes satire on them in a country of 1.3 billion people, because we self-regulate,” he said. This also happened because channels put a lot of pressure on creators, Jha said: “Most creators will not fight because there is a giant legal team that sits with you (inside a channel office), and bullies you to change your content on a daily basis. I was doing a detective show and they [asked me to] remove the guns because children are watching. How do you do a detective show and remove the guns? They [channels] say that children should not be…
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