Cobrapost a non-profit journalism company conducted a sting operation on renowned Bollywood celebrities.
They made a documentary called 'Operation Karaoke' that allegedly shows 36 Bollywood celebrities willing to accept large sums of cash in exchange for posting favourable messages on behalf of various political parties.
Addressing a press conference, Cobrapost editor-in-chief Aniruddha Bahl said the sting revolves around 36 celebrities agreeing to post messages on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account to help create a favourable environment for certain political parties in the run-up to the elections.
The 36 celebrities stung by Cobrapost include many renowned names from Bollywood which is quite unexpected and shocking. Actors like Jackie Shroff, Shreyas Talpade, Shakti Kapoor, Sonu Sood, Sunny Leone and many more.
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"The celebs, most of the TV and film stars, agreed to tweet content on various issues to be provided to them before posting the same on their social media pages to make it look like their own, he alleged.
"They would defend the government even on controversial issues such as rape and fatal accidents such as bridge collapses. They were even willing to sign a dummy contract for endorsement of products to disguise the real nature of the proxy political campaigning that they were willing to do," Bahl said.
The Cobrapost also claimed that they had also approached veteran actor Raza Murad, Vidya Balan, Arshad Warsi and Saumya Tandon with similar offers. However, these celebrities refused to sell their soul for money.
The report says that "While we saw all these celebs succumbing to the lure of money and agreeing to indulge in this unethical and unlawful practice, there were some notable exceptions, though. When we approached Vidya Balan, Arshad Warsi, Raza Murad and Saumya Tandon with our proposition, these celebs chose to go by their conscience and straightaway refused to play ball."
While many celebs were ready to influence public opinion in exchange for money, few actors like Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan restored our faith in Bollywood.