Hannah Reji Koshy’s shocking interview moment: It’s high time YouTubers introspected

The inappropriate question posed by the anchor underscored the need for YouTubers to take responsibility for their words and deeds.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published Jun 19, 2024 | 6:26 PM Updated Jun 20, 2024 | 1:17 PM

Hannah Reji Koshy's bizarre YouTube interview moment

In a shocking incident, Malayalam actor Hannah Reji Koshy faced a weird question from the anchor of a YouTube channel. This happened during a promotional interview for her upcoming film DNA.

Directed by TS Suresh Babu, DNA has Ashkar Saudan as the male lead.

As part of their movie promotions, Hannah Reji Koshy and Ashkar Saudan visited the YouTube channel office, where they were interviewed by anchor Suhaila.

During the interview, Suhaila asked Hannah Reji Koshy if she had “slept with anyone in the film industry” to get roles. In for a rude shock, the actor remained silent for a while.

Meanwhile, Ashkar Saudan intervened and raised a serious objection to Suhaila’s “inappropriate” question. He said such questions were “not expected from a female anchor”.

Ashkar Saudan and Hannah Reji Koshy at a promotional event for DNA

Ashkar Saudan and Hannah Reji Koshy at a promotional event for ‘DNA’. (Facebook)

However, the anchor asked why Ashkar Saudan was answering her question and not Hannah. She also remarked if Hannah’s silence was an admission of her guilt.

Hannah Reji Koshy recovered from the shock and replied that Suhaila could have framed the question as, “Does the casting couch exist in the cinema? What’s your take on this?”

The actor also stated that her parents and relatives were watching the interview and wondered how Suhaila could pose such indecent questions.

The anchor got angry and asked what was the need for Hannah to raise her voice.

An altercation ensued after this argument and the actors left the show.

The viewers, who watched Hannah Reji’s interview on the YouTube channel, initially thought it was all scripted. However, Suhaila told another YouTube channel that it was not a scripted interview.

The anchor said she had a passion for acting, but was asked sexual favours to get roles in films.

She justified that she did not mean to humiliate Hannah Reji and wanted to know her take on the casting couch, since was an opinionated and bold woman.

As Hannah Reji Koshy remained quiet and Ashkar was answering the question, Suhaila said she wanted to know if Hannah’s silence meant approval.

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Disrespectful & hurting: Hannah

Reacting to this incident, Hannah Reji Koshy told another YouTube channel that the experience was disrespectful and the questions were “framed to hurt” her.

She stated that she had to clarify her stand on the issue as it was a personal attack on her. “The anchor (Suhaila) must have asked the question to get more traffic for the channel, but it was highly inappropriate.”

Hannah Reji added that she didn’t want to be part of that interview and hence walked out of the interview.

She thanked Ashkar for supporting her. He is the nephew of veteran actor Mammootty.

Meanwhile, Ashkar Saudan felt that such inappropriate questions should not be asked of any woman. “We weren’t aware that this kind of question would be asked. We walked out of the interview after replying to the anchor.”

The DNA actor added that Hannah reached this stage in her career because of her immense talent and hard work.

A cheap attempt: Journalists

Meanwhile, the interview went viral on social media. A majority of netizens supported Hannah Reji Koshy and found fault with the anchor (Suhaila).

Rohit Thayyil, senior correspondent at PTI, told South First that such a question from an anchor was completely unacceptable and highly inappropriate.

“If the anchor wanted to ask about a casting couch, she could have framed the question appropriately. This just seems like a cheap attempt to gain popularity.”

He further added, “Such tendencies to gain popularity should be identified and discouraged at the very outset.”

Annu Mathew, a Kochi-based senior journalist, told South First that newbie interviewers should seriously learn from their veterans how effortlessly they delved into sensitive topics and got celebrities to speak about their lives and genuine struggles.

“This (YouTube) interview can be used in journalism classes as an example of how not to phrase a question. There are indeed several ways in which the same thing can be asked without being accusatory,” Annu pointed out.

Meanwhile, an industry insider observed that such promotional interviews are inevitable for a movie these days, but admitted that such questions will disturb actors and stop them from giving interviews in future.

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Recent cases against YouTubers

After the COVID-19 outbreak, YouTube channels started flourishing. Interestingly, most of these YouTube channels cater to film lovers.

While some produce quality content in the form of news, celebrity interviews, reviews, and features, others focus only on clickbait through generating gossip.

Interestingly, mainstream media outlets and several veteran journalists also entered the fray and launched their own YouTube channels in recent times. However, there are still no proper guidelines regarding the content generated on YouTube and social media platforms.

In a recent case, a popular YouTube anchor lodged a complaint against an actor for verbally abusing her during a promotional interview for his movie (after he got irritated with her questions). But the case was settled.

Malayalam cinema recently saw several incidents of review bombing, especially from vloggers/YouTubers.

In October last year, for the first time, the Kochi City police registered a case against nine people for allegedly writing negative reviews for Rahel Makan Kora under review bombing.

Following this, the Kerala film bodies chalked new guidelines to tackle review bombing.

Meanwhile, in March 2024, in its report submitted before the Kerala High Court, the Amicus Curiae said bloggers (YouTubers) and critics should not review films within 48 hours of their theatrical release.

Also, the Amicus Curiae underlined that reviews uploaded within 48 hours should not include spoilers or major plot points.

In another case, in March this year, the Thiruvananthapuram District First Class Magistrate Court issued a probe order against six YouTube vloggers for posting negative reviews against Dileep-starrer Bandra (2023).

Well, given the current scenario, there is a dire need for YouTubers to introspect and take responsibility for their words and deeds.

Also Read: Review bombing makes a comeback with ‘Marivillin Gopurangal’

(Edited by Y Krishna Jyothi)

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