The first half of 2020 has been like a roller coaster ride for everyone. While there were some good surprises this year, we were extremely shocked by a few incidents that took place in the TV industry. The audience majorly witnessed people calling out each other, filing cases, or indulging in mud-slinging. Other than the Coronavirus pandemic, a lot of controversies made headlines this year, especially from the TV fraternity.
Now, as 2020 comes to an end, it is time to reflect on the major controversies that grabbed attention this year. From NCB summoning TV actors to Abhinav Kohli's charges against Shweta Tiwari, this year too witnessed a lot of controversial incidents.
Check out the top 10 controversies that created a big stir in the Indian television industry in 2020!
Sana Khan-Melvin Louis break up
The year started with a massive controversy between former lovebirds Sana Khan and Melvin Louis. In February 2020, less than a year after she announced her relationship, actor and former Bigg Boss contestant Sana confirmed her break up with dancer Melvin Louis, claiming that he cheated on her. Sana went live on Instagram and shared how her relationship with Melvin ended. She claimed that she broke up with him in Krabi, after he humiliated her in front of all his friends and lied about giving up alcohol. Sana claimed that Melvin persuaded her to make their relationship public because he wanted fame and ‘monetary gains’ out of her. She said that he restricted her from talking to people and taking up projects, even as he was being unfaithful to her. Their break up got extremely ugly after Melvin went on record to share an audio clip of Sana, accusing her of mocking his skin colour and family. Sana denied the claims and called him a cheater. After publicly talking ill about each other for almost 3 months, Sana bid goodbye to her glamorous life and took up hijab to respect her religion for life. Well, one of the biggest controversies of 2020, indeed!
Neha Dhupia's 'It's her choice' jibe
Actor and chat show host Neha Dhupia faced a barrage of attacks from trolls when she spoke about adultery and violence against women on an episode of Roadies Revolution back in February this year. It all started when a contestant on Roadies said that he hit his girlfriend because she cheated on him with three other boys. This made Neha furious and she defended the girl by saying 'it's her choice'. This soon became a National issue with Netizens slamming the actress for supporting infidelity. Later, the actor said a small chunk of her comment was highlighted and was taken to another level of misunderstanding. She even revealed that her father and husband Angad Bedi kept receiving hate messages for her comment. While Neha was trolled mercilessly, many of her colleagues from the film industry came out in support of her.
Hindustani Bhau's legal notice to Ekta Kapoor
Bigg Boss 13 contestant Hindustani Bhau aka Vikas Phatak filed a police complaint against Ekta Kapoor for showing the Indian Army's uniform in an indecent manner in her web series. The episode that Hindustani Bhau found offensive was from Ekta Kapoor’s AltBalaji web series XXX 2. Titled Pyaar Aur Plastic, it showed a woman indulging in a physical relationship with her boyfriend, while her husband, who is a soldier, was on duty at the border. Hindustani Bhau even revealed receiving many calls from “big people” ever since he filed a complaint against Ekta and her mother Shobha Kapoor. The YouTuber also accused Ekta of being “anti-national, disrespecting the Indian military and defaming the country." The controversy turned ugly and TV mogul Ekta had to eventually remove that part from her series and apologize publicly.
Shweta Tiwari's and Abhinav Kohli's legal battle
While Shweta Tiwari did not make much noise this year, her estranged husband Abhinav Kohli put in all his efforts to make accusations against the actress and her daughter Palak Tiwari. From leaking chat screenshots to accusing her of keeping their son, Reyansh, away from him, Abhinav went all out and made headlines for all the wrong reasons. He even claimed that Shweta is still living with him, however, the actress denied all such claims. He also called himself a victim. While Shweta denied commenting on the reports and his allegations, Abhinav spoke to the media at length about the unfair behavior of Shweta. To top it all, on November 3, Abhinav slammed a legal notice for defamation at Shweta. He blamed her for not letting him meet their son Reyaansh. He added that Reyaansh needs his father as much as he needs his mother. Backing his story, Abhinav also shared a video from outside Shweta's flat, asking her to let him in and play with Reyaansh. Their legal battle is still at the court and is awaiting a decision. Last year, in August, Shweta had filed a domestic violence complaint against Abhinav. Shweta was earlier married to Raja Chaudhary. The actress divorced Raja, accusing him of domestic violence, and married Abhinav Kohli in 2013. However, things did not go as expected between the two.
Aditya Narayan's bankruptcy reports
In October, several reports of singer Aditya Narayan, son of legendary musician Udit Narayan, going bankrupt started doing rounds on the internet. Aditya was reported as saying in an interview that had run out of his savings and was left with Rs 18000 in his account. Several remarks and memes were made on the bankruptcy report before Aditya came forward to clear the air. The television host refuted reports that he is bankrupt, adding that like everyone else, the Coronavirus lockdown impacted him financially, however, he was never bankrupt. Aditya said that he has been gainfully employed for two decades, so it would be difficult for him to run out of his savings, especially since he lives a simple lifestyle. The singer even slammed such fake reports and asked his fans to not believe such rumours.
Govinda's spat with Krushna Abhishek
Govinda's and his nephew comedian Krushna Abhishek's scarred relationship created another controversy in November when the Hero No. 1 actor was invited to The Kapil Sharma Show for a special episode. Krushna, who is also a part of the show, was missing from the episode and later opened up about not being comfortable in performing comedy in front of his Chichi mama. Krushna even said that he attempted to get in touch with Govinda during the lockdown, but received no response, even when his son was ‘fighting for his life’ in the hospital. Reacting to Krushna's claim, Govinda expressed his sadness to talk about their issue publicly. He even called Krushna's statement 'defamatory and thoughtless'. Their fight reportedly stemmed from a tweet by Krushna’s wife, Kashmera Shah, who had made a comment last year about ‘people who dance for money’. This had not gone down well with Govinda’s wife, who felt it was meant for Govinda. Krushna later clarified that it was meant for his sister Arti Singh, however, their bond ever since was half-broken.
Terence Lewis's inappropriate morphed video with Nora Fatehi
In October, India's Best Dancer judge Terence Lewis became a victim of social media trolling after his morphed video touching Nora Fatehi inappropriately went viral. The video showed the choreographer touching the actress-dancer inappropriately on her bum. While Nora Fatehi and Geeta Kapur had spoken up earlier about it, Terence had remained silent. However, the choreographer broke his silence around the controversy and spoke about the whole fiasco. He said that he had the utmost respect for Nora and is not so depraved that he would resort to such things. He also slammed people for believing the video and asked his fans to stay away from fake content like that. Nora showed full support to Terence and cleared the air surrounding the video, called it 'immaturely edited'.
Shilpa Shinde's and Sunil Grover's cold war
In August, both Shilpa Shinde and Sunil Grover became the talk of the town when they announced their first-ever collaboration for their comedy show - Star Bharat's Gangs of Filmistan. While fans were excited to see the two together, things went downhill once they started working with each other. The cold war between the two comic stars intensified as Shilpa lashed out at Sunil for trying to hog the limelight and make the show all about him. Calling him 'a poor team player', Shilpa even blamed the producers of the show for favouring Sunil. Shilpa blamed Sunil for taking the center stage and not giving a chance to other actors to perform. While producer Preeti Simoes denied Shilpa's allegations, the show could not garner eyeballs and received bad TRP ratings. The channel had to end the show in October end. No official statement was ever released from Sunil's end.
NCB summoned TV actors
The biggest and worst controversy of 2020 that still continues to very much exist is that of the NCB summoning television and film actors. It all started when the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) started probing the drug angle in Sushant Singh Rajput's death case and an alleged Bollywood drug nexus was discovered. Phase 3 of the investigation began and several Bollywood actors were summoned for investigation in the drug case. Soon after television celebrities like Abigail Pande, Sanam Johar, Sara Khan, Angad Hasija, Bharti Singh and Haarsh Limbachiyaa were under the Narcotics agency's scanner and were summoned for investigation. Not only this, Comedienne Bharti and her husband Haarsh were arrested on November 22. NCB said that 86.5 grammes of cannabis was recovered from Singh’s house when NCB sleuths conducted a raid there. However, bail was granted to both Bharti and Haarsh after two days of their arrest. The investigation agency nabbed several drug peddlers as well and the investigation is still ongoing.
Devoleena Bhattacharjee calling out Gagan
Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai fame television actress Divya Bhatnagar passed away on December 7, after battling Covid-19 for a few weeks. Soon after her close friend Devoleena Bhattacharjee has alleged that Divya was a victim of domestic violence by her husband Gagan. Devoleena shared a video on her verified Instagram account where she alleged Gagan of subjecting Divya to tremendous physical assault and mental harassment while she was alive. Devoleena alleged that Gagan had smashed Divya's head just three days after their wedding, regularly hit her with a belt and would lock her in a room. She also warned him of a legal complaint. Calling Gagan a criminal, Devoleena further alleged that he had threatened to kill the late actress' brother if she opened her mouth. She even shared a voice recording of the late actress talking about how Gagan used to mentally and physically torture her. Soon Gagan went public and called all of Devloeena's claims 'untrue'. While several fans supported Devoleena, some called her claims 'exaggerated'.