Thalapathy Vijay's first look poster controversy over a smoking scene is turning out to be a bigger issue than expected. The Madras High Court has now issued notices to the actor, director AR Murugadoss, and the production house Sun Pictures apart from the Union ministry of information and broadcasting, the Tamil Nadu government and the Central Board of Film Certification.
Cyril Alexander, a tobacco control activist and advocate, filed a Public Interest Litigation asking the filmmakers to pay Rs 10 crore each to the cancer treatment centre at the Government Royapettah Hospital in Chennai.
"The Act clearly prohibits any person under a contract or otherwise from promoting or agreeing to promote the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco product. But contrary to the law, in the first look poster released on August 31, the actor appears smoking heaps of smoke emanating from his mouth, which is punishable under the Act," The Times of India quotes the petitioner as saying.
He further added that the promotional material failed to mention the mandatory warning prescribed by the Tamil Nadu Compulsory Censorship of Publicity Materials Act, 1987.
Anubumani Ramadoss was the first person to raise the issue about the smoking scene in the first look of Sarkar.
It has to be noted that PMK founder Ramadoss has also slammed Vijay for "promoting" smoking in the first look poster of his upcoming movie. "You'll look more stylish without that cigarette. #SmokingKills #SmokingCausesCancer. [sic]"Anbumani Ramadoss tweeted. He further added, "Shame on Actor Vijay for promoting Smoking in this first look of his next movie. #ActResponsibly #DoNotPromoteSmoking. [sic]"
Recently, the Tamil Nadu People's Forum for Tobacco Control (TNPFTC) had condemned the posters of Sarkar, stating it violated laws. A case has also been filed by an advocate that the smoking scene in the poster misleads youths towards smoking.
Thalapathy Vijay-starrer movie is an action thriller in which Keerthy Suresh and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar are playing important roles.