Telugu actor flags Youtuber Praneeth Hanumantu’s ‘jokes’ on child abuse to Telangana CM; case registered

Youtuber Praneeth Hanumantu apologised for the 'jokes' with a video and said his intention was not to normalise child abuse.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Jul 08, 2024 | 12:36 AM Updated Jul 08, 2024 | 12:36 AM

Telugu actor brings Youtuber Praneeth Hanumantu's 'jokes' on child abuse to Telangana CM's attention

After a Telugu actor took to social media to call out a YouTuber’s video with problematic ‘jokes’ about childabuse, the Women Safety Wing of Telangana Police registered a case on Sunday, 7 July.

Youtuber Praneeth Hanumantu’s video titled ‘Revanth Reddy Genius Idea For Ticket Hike’ was recently shared on X. Participants in the live podcast were discussing Telangana CM Revanth Reddy’s decision regarding Telugu film industry.

He had directed the state officials to set a pre-condition for filmmakers to provide a short video promoting awareness on drugs and cybercrime while requesting the government for a hike in ticket prices. The video can be made with the same cast who acted in the film for which permission to hike ticket prices is sought, he had said.

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‘Jokes’ in a live podcast

In an act that has received widespread criticism, people in the podcast are seen playing a meme involving a child and an adult man who is holding a belt and making not-very-indirect jokes about child abuse.

One of the participants later said, “First I liked the video but later removed the like. He went from Hi Daddy to Hi Nanna, to Pedo Nanna to Pedanna.”

Tagging the chief minister and other officials in a post on X, actor Sai Dharam Tej said child safety is the need of the hour and asked that the CM take action against the people making “gruesome” ‘jokes’ in the video.

“This is beyond gruesome, disgusting, and scary. Monsters like these go unnoticed on the very much utilised social platform doing child abuse in the disguise of so-called Fun & Dank,” he wrote. He also urged the Andhra Pradesh CM to take action on such content makers.

Responding to his post, CM Revanth Reddy and Deputy CM Bhatti Vikramarka assured that necessary steps will be taken to prevent any form of child abuse or exploitation on social media platforms.

“Thank you for bringing to our notice this issue. Child safety is utmost priority for our Govt. Will look into this incident and take appropriate action.we will ensure that our government takes necessary steps to prevent child abuse and exploitation on social media platforms. Let’s work together to create a safer online environment for our children,” wrote the CM.

Shortly after, Telangana Police’s Women Safety Wing and State DGP Ravi Gupta also took to X to say that a case has been registered and a probe is underway.

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Youtuber’s apology

By late evening on the same day, Youtuber Praneeth Hanumantu apologised for the ‘jokes’ in the form of a video in his Instagram account. He said that his intention was not to normalise child abuse and that jokes are being interpreted wrongly.

“My intention is not to normalise child sexual abuse and pedophilia…It was originally meant to be a dark video but the definition of comedy genre is changing everyday and jokes are being interpreted wrongly. Until today I have learnt a lot by making mistakes, but today many have been blamed because of me, especially my parents who have always been there for me. Please keep away from trolling them. I am ready for any consequence and I apologise genuinely,” he wrote.

The Andhra Pradesh government is yet to react on the issue until this article was published and when asked if any case has been registered, police said they are looking into the content.

Meanwhile many have taken to social media platforms to say that since Praneeth Hanumantu is the son of a senior bureaucrat in Andhra Pradesh, he will easily escape from facing the consequences.

(Edited by Neena)

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