On the July 8 episode of the weekly comedy show What The Flop, guest Shankar BC, a popular choreographer working in the Nepali film industry, discussed his long experience and how he got a chance to rub shoulders with the industry’s movers and shakers.
For many, one incident in BC’s story stood out–for all the wrong reasons. A snippet of the show was widely circulated on social media days after it aired. It had something to do with the contentious actor Bhuwan KC. One day, BC was tasked with choreographing a song involving KC, who is known for playing romantic leads in Nepali films from the 1980s and 1990s.
“The song-and-dance sequence in question had a step that involved hugging the actress and caressing her shoulders,” BC explained to Sandip Chhetri, the show’s host.
BC continued, “Bhuwan Dai asked me to act out the dance step for him.” “I did as instructed, but he asked me to repeat it several times. He summoned me after the fourth time and asked, ‘Did you know why I asked you to do the same step four times?’ ‘No,’ I said. KC explained, “So you can touch or hug the actress again and again.” Chhetri and BC both burst out laughing.
Many Nepalis on social media have criticized the episode and BC’s portrayal of it, pointing 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!” tweeted Hima Bista, executive director of Women Lead Nepal. “Misogyny on the air is how we normalize day-to-day sexism #disgusting #BeResponsible.”
The episode was a revelation for another Twitter user, Dr Nirmal Kandel. “Disgusting,” he tweeted, “but he exposed Bhuwan KC and his attitude as well!”
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 has a tumultuous history. In a series of Instagram videos a year ago, fellow actor Samragyee RL Shah accused KC of sexual harassment, though she did not name him. KC was quick to respond in words that many thought befitted an actor of his stature.
Following the most recent episode, many people have rightfully criticized KC, the host, and BC. Samriddhi Rai, a musician, was particularly witty in her remarks. “Imagine what stories they must be sharing when the cameras go off if they’re openly discussing this on national media,” Rai tweeted. “To put it mildly, disgusting. And the endearing laughter says it all. “I’m disappointed, but not surprised.”
None of the parties involved have yet issued a statement. BC made a brief remark on Nepal Live Today. “I’ve already discussed it with Bhuwan dai. “I don’t want to talk about it any longer,” he said before abruptly hanging up the phone.