In another blow to Arnab Goswami, food delivery app Zomato has agreed to reconsider its decision to advertise on Republic TV after many accused the popular brand of funding hate. The development came days after Arnab Goswami had targeted Salman Khan with ‘senior citizen’ and ‘Bigg Boss of drugs’ jibes.
The controversy over Zomato’s association with Republic TV was triggered by a handle Defund the Hate, which shared a video clip on Twitter of Goswami’s rant over what’s being claimed as Love Jihad. The tweet by Defund the Hate read, “.@zomato
@deepigoyal people offered money to @feedingindia because they believed in it. Can we also assume that you believe and endorse this hate speech because you advertise in hateful @Republic_Bharat channel? If we are wrong, pull down your ads today! #DefundtheHateZomato.”
.@zomato @deepigoyal people offered money to @feedingindia because they believed in it. Can we also assume that you believe and endorse this hate speech because you advertise in hateful @Republic_Bharat channel? If we are wrong, pull down your ads today! #DefundtheHateZomato pic.twitter.com/K4psCwcr5m
— Defund the Hate (@DefundTheHate) November 18, 2020
In response, Zomato said that whilst it never endorsed the content broadcast on Republic TV, it was rethinking its decision to advertise on Republic TV. It said, “Hi there, please note, we don’t endorse any content except our own. That being said, we are looking into this.”
This prompted many right-wing Twitter users to launch hashtag #boycottzomato in protest.
— Shrestha Kapoor (@ShresthaKapoor2) November 19, 2020
— Diwakar Karn (@DiwakarKarnArts) November 19, 2020
— Lakshmi (@Lakshmi26028479) November 19, 2020
Goswami was recently sent to jail in an abetment to suicide case. He was denied bail by the Bombay High Court but the Supreme Court listed his case by allegedly bypassing the judicial hierarchy to grant him bail, triggering severe criticism from India’s rights activists.
Goswami’s TV channels are always accused of pushing hate in a bid to support the BJP through its broadcast. Another funder of Goswami’s alleged hate campaign is Arvind Kejriwal’s Delhi government, which has been buying expensive prime time slots on Republic TV channels by splashing crores of taxpayers’ money.
Goswami had recently attacked Salman Khan with insulting jibes, prompting the Bigg Boss host to hit back at the Republic TV founder. Salman Khan-produced The Kapil Sharma Show had recreated a segment involving Kiku Sharda and Krushna Abhishek to mock Arnab Goswami’s theatrics on TV.