As we know, only a while ago, an update regarding lockdown in Mumbai and the whole of Maharashtra was confirmed where even though the weekdays witness a normal functioning in general but the weekends will see a complete lockdown. Many wondered as to how this affects their line of work and one of the hardest hit industries by COVID-19 has been the entertainment world.
Producers, broadcasters, Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE) and Cine and TV Artists’ Association (CINTAA) had a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray, to evaluate and assess the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state and how another lockdown will severely impact their business.
Giving an update on the same to ETimes TV, producer JD Majethia, who is the Chairman of Indian Films and Television Producers Council (IFTPC), says, “During our discussion with the CM, we mentioned that the entertainment industry is a means of employment to daily wage workers and how another shutdown could be detrimental to the business. Last year, various associations supported their members in spite of a bad year. However, it will be difficult to sustain and support them as the business was severely affected. While we are determined to fight coronavirus, we can’t fight hunger and unemployment. We requested him to not implement another shutdown. The CM isn’t in favour of another lockdown, but if the situation spirals out of control, he will be left with no choice keeping in mind the safety and health of the people of Maharashtra.”
He added, “We can use the medium of entertainment to spread awareness and educate people on the importance of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. He told us to follow the guidelines and SOPs to the T. He also asked us to avoid shooting with large crowds and sequences that require more people than necessary in the current situation. He advised us to discourage people from containment zones to come to the set.” JD has suggested that a committee comprising representatives of the various producers’ bodies, federation, broadcasters, OTT, CINTAA should be formed, which will ensure that all SOPs are followed without fail in their respective verticals. “The committee will form new policies as and when required to curb the spread. We will also get information from the sets of all TV shows and this practice will help us identify anyone who isn’t following the guidelines.”
He also said that the Chief Minister will announce further restrictions in upcoming days.