Multiple Bollywood filmmakers have filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court against "irresponsible reporting by certain media houses".
Some of the industry's prominent names, including Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Karan Johar and Farhan Akhtar, have come together in the legal action against two news channels, Republic TV and Times Now.
The legal action has been taken against Republic TV, Arnab Goswami and Pradeep Bhandari and Times Now and its top faces Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar.
Several producers have alleged that the channels used "highly derogatory words and expressions for Bollywood, listing terms like "dirt", "filth", "scum" and "druggies" in the recent times.
Many from the film industry complained about the channels using provocative expressions like, "It is Bollywood where the dirt needs to be cleaned"; "This is the dirtiest industry in the country"; and "Cocaine and LSD-drenched Bollywood".
"The channels as well as social media platforms must refrain from making or publishing irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood and its members", the producers have said.
Many also want the channels to stop carrying out media trials and violating the privacy of the fraternity members. The producers want the court to stop reportage that violates the law and want the channels to "withdraw, recall and take down all the defamatory content published by them against Bollywood".
Filmmakers have claimed that Bollywood is a "distinct and well-recognised class" that is a crucial source of revenue and employment.
"These defendants are conducting and publishing parallel private 'investigations' and effectively acting as 'courts' to condemn persons connected with Bollywood as guilty based on what they claim is 'evidence' found by them, thereby trying to make a mockery of the criminal justice system," Bollywood claims in its lawsuit.
"The film industry is dependent almost solely on goodwill, appreciation and the acceptance of its audience," the lawsuit reads.
Reacting to the law suit, Times Now Editor-in-Chief Rahul Shivshankar said that cases against his channel's reporters were "bad precedent".
"Cases against journalists of Times Now that have only sought justice for those who are wronged are a bad precedent. The mighty may think they can weaken the resolve of the fearless but they are wrong," he tweeted.