Every journalist in India loves Sunny Leone.
Accepted, that she is not in the league of Priyanka Chopra or Deepika Padukone, but she has carved out a niche for herself already.
She stepped into the house of Bigg Boss as a porn star (in 2011) and then she did what everybody goes to Bigg Boss for…. to star in a Bollywood movie. Mahesh Bhatt and Pooja Bhatt took the plunge and introduced her to Bollywood.
It set the ball rolling.
Sunny Leone soon started signing movies left, right and centre. Erotic films – which was regarded as one of the most difficult genres for casting companies – suddenly became the most preferred. With a porn-star walking into the mainframe, all PR stunts of a heroine wearing a bikini or kissing their co-stars seemed stale. By 2012, Sunny Leone ‘arrived’ in Bollywood.
Cut to January, 2016. Sunny Leone is everybody’s darling in India including Google India which has consistently ranked her as a top search term for the last five years. This is a record.
Sunny Leone’s Bollywood filmography now includes 13 films and there are three more are in the pipeline.
During the promotions of these films, Sunny Leone has faced countless Bollywood journalists. Right from her first interview (in 2011) and through the next two years, journalists kept on asking her the same set of questions… about her earlier life as a porn star. Sunny Leone too repeated the same answers ad nauseam. She told everybody that she chose the life of a porn star and whatever she is today, it is because of the choices she had made in her career. She has said a hundred times that she is not ashamed of her past and in fact, proud of it.
There a few cases filed against her for obscenity and a docu-film has been commissioned that chronicles her life as an adult star.
Sunny Leone’s past life as a porn star is so well documented in the Indian press that it runs into thousands of webpages.
I doubt if there’s any editor in the country who will allow an interview to be run on any professional media platform that talks about her life as a porn star.
Yet last week, two of the most respected editors of the country did just that.
Like a broken record, both of them kept harping on the same string throughout their interviews on national television.
They asked only one question: “But you are a porn star. Aren’t you?”
Over and over again. In different manners and ways.
The whole country watched in horror as two of its most experienced journalists behaved like trainees on camera. Both of them seemed to be enamoured to have a porn star in front of them. So, they only spoke about porn.
In their quest to find out how Sunny Leone stepped into the ‘dirty’ world of porn, one even asked her if she enjoyed having sex in front of the camera. They asked if she has gained fame because of her ‘notoriety’.
Senior Bollywood actors tweeted to Sunny Leone about how disappointed they were after watching the interviews. Sunny replied to some of them even as the journalist fraternity kept mum.
In the past, both of these editors have spoken to numerous heads of states, prime ministers and have broken stories of national importance. Yet, both of them chose to participate in the promotional exercise of a Bollywood film and messed it up royally.
Interestingly, both interviewed Sunny Leone on the same day and she was seen wearing the same outfit in both the shows.
Sunny Leone, on the other hand, tackled both of them with such grace and tact that even they didn’t realise that Sunny was firmly in control throughout the interviews. Not once did she flinch in the face of such ‘tough’ questions.
Dear sir(s), it pays to do some homework before an interview. Isn’t this what you have told us all the time?
I have just one question for both of you: Would you let the same interview go on air if it was done by someone junior to you?
That was some real shoddy piece of journalism, sirs.