01:35 GMT20 January 2021
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    The Hollywood OTT services Lionsgate Play made its debut in the Indian entertainment world on 2 December. While netizens are excited about the new bouquet of exciting films and shows to watch out for, its new advertisement didn't sit very well and is facing a lot of backlash for purportedly glorifying violence against men.

    Lionsgate Play India's launch has sparked off a new controversy for its advertisement starring Bollywood actress Sanjana Sanghi which is facing flak from netizens for "normalising" violence against men.

    In the 53-second video clip posted on Twitter, a guy can be seen sitting on a couch with Sanjana and surfing the OTT shows on television. Unable to decide what to watch, the guy says, "It's so hard to find what to watch". Sanjana asks, "So what do we do next?"

    As she tries to woo him by touching his face, she suddenly starts slapping until the guy says stop at the count of eight. She then says, "We are going to watch eight shows on the app". The advertisement ends by saying, "Don't do crazy things to find what to watch. Download Lionsgate Play".

    Raging over this new commercial, netizens took to social media to express their views and also tagged the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), urging them to take action.

    ​Calling it "absolutely horrifying", Bollywood actress and talk show host Pooja Bedi questioned, "What if a man was slapping a woman in this advertisement?"

    ​Pointing out the sexist and violent take on the advertisement, some netizens also decided to boycott the OTT platform.

    Apart from India, Lionsgate Play has launched its services in Europe, Latin America, and Japan. The streaming platform brings several notable Hollywood titles and it aims to create more "Indian originals in the coming months". 


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