Kathmandu: On the July 8 episode of the weekly comedy program What The Flop, guest Shankar BC, a popular choreographer working at Nepali film industry, talked about his long experience and how he got a chance to rub his shoulders with the movers and shakers of the industry.
For many, one particular incident in BC’s telling stood out–for all the bad reasons. Days after the show aired, a snippet of it was widely circulated on social media. It had to do with the controversial actor Bhuwan KC. One day, BC was assigned to choreograph a song that involved KC, who is known for playing romantic leads in the Nepali films of the 80s and 90s.
“The song-and-dance sequence in question had a step that entailed hugging the actress and caressing her shoulders,” BC told host Sandip Chhetri.
“Bhuwan Dai asked me to act out the dance step for him,” BC went on. “I did as told but he asked me to repeat it again and again. After the fourth time, he summoned me and asked, ‘Did you know why I asked you to do the same step four times?’. I replied, ‘No’. KC said, ‘So that you can touch or hug the actress time and again’.” Both Chhetri and BC burst out in laughter.
Both the episode and BC’s telling of it hasn’t sat well with many Nepalis on social media who have pointed out its inherent misogyny, insensitivity and objectification of a woman’s body.
“[The] audacity to say this openly on-air and the nerve to make a comedy out of it!,” Hima Bista, executive director at Women Lead Nepal, wrote on Twitter. “Misogyny getting air time is how we normalize day-to-day sexism #disgusting #BeResponsible.”
For another Twitter user, Dr Nirmal Kandel, the episode was a revelation. “Disgusting, but he exposed Bhuwan KC and his attitude too!,” he tweeted.
The episode and BC’s telling of it hasn’t sat well with many Nepalis on social media who have pointed out its inherent misogyny, insensitivity and objectification of a woman’s body.
KC is a man with a chequered past. A year ago, fellow actor Samragyee RL Shah alleged KC of sexual harassment, though she didn’t name him, in a series of Instagram videos. KC was quick to respond in words that many thought was unbecoming for an actor of his stature.
After the latest episode, many have–rightly–called out KC, the host and BC. Musician Samriddhi Rai was especially pithy in her remarks. “If they’re openly discussing this on national media, imagine what stories they must be sharing when the cameras go off?,” Rai tweeted. “Disgusting to say the least. And the laughter at the end says it all. Disappointed but not surprised.”
None of the involved parties have made a statement yet. Speaking to Nepal Live Today, BC made a brief remark. “I have already talked to Bhuwan dai about it. I don’t want to talk about it anymore,” he said, before abruptly hanging up.