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SHERLYN CHOPRA BANNED – OPEN LETTER TO PRINT MEDIA

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRINT JOURNOS IN INDIA

Dear friends,

It is with great pride and a sense of privilege and of course with great humility that I take this opportunity to write to you thus:

For the last two-odd months I have been BLATANTLY PLUGGING (in the words of some of my former colleagues and friends at the venerable and honourable Times of India) Sherlyn Chopra. Some of my stories and articles have been described as “works of fiction” by a couple of detractors. While I do not wish to comment on my “press releases”, I want to take this opportunity to bring the following to your notice.

I have been “blatantly plugging” Sherlyn Chopra because I believe in her. She has tremendous potential and given the right opportunity could do wonders. She is knowledgeable, well-read and intelligent. not to forget has a kick-ass figure and is a bundle of dynamite. Unfortunately it’s only her bikini pics or controversies that make headlines. Her achievements are shoved under the carpet.

Sherlyn Chopra recently was in Barcelona as the Face of Bollywood. She has been covered by various international television channels and on websites like Hollywood Reporter, Billboard Magazine, Forbes Magazine, Bnet TV, etc.

Sherlyn met up and hobnobbed with the likes of Robert Redford and Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. She gave away an award to Yahoo Inc for the “Best Infotainment Portal of the Year”. Both Redford and Will.i.am were were greatly impressed by her work and congratulated her and even showed keen interest in working with her.

While not all this coverage is easily available online, I am including a few links. Sherlyn’s name has been mentioned alongside stalwarts like Robert Redford, Isabella Rossellini and Will.i.am in the international media.

Sherlyn’s video Outrageous was played and showcased during the prestigious Global Mobile Awards ceremony. You check this out at www.globalmobileawards.com.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i797c75af15317bcf86e17fadf64c6a7d

http://www.theunwired.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=7221&action=new

http://www.bnettv.com/player.php?id=1130 (Sherlyn Chopra webcast interview)

http://www.digital50.com/news/items/PR/2008/02/13/UKW116/gsma-announces-13th-annual-global-mobile-award-winners.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS211041+13-Feb-2008+PRN20080213

http://www.bnettv.com/page.php?type=newest&page=2

http://www.exchange4media.com/e4m/izone1/izone_fullstory.asp?section_id=4&news_id=29728&tag=24636

http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k8/feb/feb87.php

http://www.mid-day.com/web/guest/news/business/article?_EXT_5_articleId=983148&_EXT_5_groupId=14

However, it pains me that the Indian media and particularly the entertainment media and print in particular has largely ignored this “achievement”. A search on google will show that none of the mainline print publications have covered this event and particularly Sherlyn Chopra.

(While saying so, I also want to thank those who have believed in Sherlyn Chopra and have given her the coverage that was due to her. I don’t want to mention names of individuals and publications, and websites but a BIG THANK YOU and GOD BLESS TO THOSE WHO DID IT.)

It is definitely news-worthy that an Indian actress who is working very hard – and let me mention at this stage does not have a Godfather because she is independent and strong-willed and will not succumb to the diktats of our big daddies in the industry – has had her work showcased before the international media at an august gathering of international celebs and business persons. Her work was also appreciated and she was publicly congratulated.

It pains me that the entertainment print media in Mumbai can write about XYZ actress having A or B or C number of shoes in her closet or PQR starlet learning bellydance or run two consecutive articles on a starlet having a long conversation in a disco with Salman Rushdie, (yes Rushdie makes news I agree) but the same publication tells me that Sherlyn Chopra is banned by their editor and that Sherlyn Chopra in Barcelona meeting a Robert Redford or a Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and being congratulated by them is not news worthy. The same editor refuses to even answer my calls in spite of hundreds of attempts. Then I am told that only controversy stories sell, so when I tell them that Sherlyn Chopra was denied a visa by the German consulate in Mumbai for no fault of her own, they tell me again that Sherlyn is “banned”.

I would request the editor of this publication (you know whom I am referring to) to kindly write to me in confidence as to why this partiality. I don’t understand how editors (who are paid employees at the end of the day) can enforce such “personal bans” on individuals who have been covered by the international media. And if such a ban or prerogative exists, the individual “banned” has a right to know why she or he is “banned”.

Another editor tells me that the public do not want to read about Sherlyn Chopra’s rendezvous with Robert Redford or Will.i.am but want to read about X, or Y, or Z’s shoes and dogs and cats. I must mention that many other editors tell me that Sherlyn Chopra’s pics are the most viewed and downloaded online and she is the “Queen of downloads”.

Well, who decides what the people want to read? Aren’t we giving a few individuals too much power in a democratic system? Aren’t we not being fair and transparent to others who may not be so “blessed” so as to be in the good books of certain “people in power”?

One of the first things I was taught as a journalist was not to allow personal prejudices influence my coverage or reportage of a particular incident or subject. What has Sherlyn Chopra done or not done to be “banned”. May be she doesn’t send “muuaahs” and “love u” SMS messages to some journos or editors? I would really appreciate if my learned and knowledgeable journalist friends would enlighten me.

Or is it because I don’t throw booze parties for select journos or don’t send out gift vouchers? Or is it that certain journos owe their allegiance to certain film PROs and will not run stories sent out by a rival PRO? At this stage, I must admit that some print journos do not have a few seconds to listen to wha
t I have to say!!!

As Indians, we must take pride in the fact that an Indian actress was honoured in such fashion on an international fora. In my opinion this news does deserve media coverage.

I am enclosing some photographs of Sherlyn Chopra with Robert Redford and Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and I hope you will give ample coverage to Indian achievers who make India proud on global platforms.

Finally, Sherlyn Chopra’s good work will go on. She is launching her own NGO to help the under-privileged and unempowered women. She is doing a lot of work on the film front, which I will leave for her to talk about. We will not be cowed down by “bans” by certain prejudiced and partial individuals.

If I have offended anyone by this out-burst or have been unfair to any individual, I pray for forgiveness.

Sincerely,

Flynn Remedios

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