After marque shows on Netflix like The Crown and Narcos, the Indian series Sacred Games turned out to be a game changer for Netflix, and in particular for India’s nascent digital video-on-demand industry. However, ahead of the release of its second season, the show has been caught up in a controversy.
Netflix initially gained popularity with its shows House of Cards and Orange is the New Black in America, that expanded its empire worldwide. In India, Netflix then debuted with its original series: Sacred Games, based on the 2006 thriller novel by Vikram Chandra.
Starring Indian famous actors Saif Ali Khan and Nawazzudin Siddiqui in the lead roles, the show released across the world with subtitles in Russian, Finnish, Arabic, French, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Dutch, Polish, Turkish, Chinese, Romanian, Swedish, Norwegian, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese.
The show, directed by Indian directors Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, has been amongst the highest trending searches on Google India a few months ago, along with its actors gaining international acclaim. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, a proven talent in Bollywood, during an interview with a leading Indian daily, told that during his visit to Rome for a shoot, not just Indians but also the locals recognised him as Ganesh Gaitonde from the show.
Despite world popularity, Sacred Games entered into the same cult of violence and gore, just like other popular series such as Game of Thrones and Hannibal. There is blood, slit heads and severed limbs, along with crass language and explicit nudity, which for many, is too bold for a show in India. The show was also criticized for its negative reference of the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
While some eagerly wait for the second season, others demand to take down the show
After an employee of Phantom Films (Indian film production and distribution company established by Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and producers Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl) accused Vikas Bahl in the light of the #MeToo movement, the production company announced dissolution.
My statement in light of the recent HuffPost article and breaking up of Phantom . There are two pages.. pic.twitter.com/WCAsaj6uFR
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) October 7, 2018
Despite the fact that Kashyap had clarified that he wasn’t in “speaking terms” with Bahl, after the accusations first surfaced last year, people are questioning Kashyap about his association with Bahl even after he knew of the accusations on him. Along with this, Varun Grover, co-writer of the show has also been involved in the case of sexual harassment.
Please @NetflixIndia take down Sacred Games.
— 🤡 (@Upooorv) October 9, 2018
— PC (@PranavChopra) October 8, 2018
Earlier, in case of web-series House of Cards, Netflix had dropped the show’s lead actor Kevin Spacey after he was named in a case of sexual harassment. However, it is yet to be seen if Sacred Games continues with its second season.