‘Rupantor’ removed from YouTube channel, director speaks out

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Mired by the controversy of allegedly promoting LGBTQ+ rights, Television director Rafat Mozumder Rinku’s drama “Rupantor” was removed from its affiliated YouTube channel earlier today. Produced by Ekanno Media and sponsored by Walton, the production was released during Eid-ul-Fitr. Walton’s authorities have also expressed regret and apologised after removing the fiction.

The Daily Star reached out to the director to learn further about the incident. “Even till last night, we received really good feedback about this project. However, several extremist groups were spreading hatred on social media, claiming that the project is promoting transgender, and LGBTQ+ rights, and even called for a boycott of the sponsoring company, Walton, actor Jovan, and me,” said Rinku. He further remarked that till morning Ekanno Media was adamant about not putting the fiction down from the YouTube channel. “I’m assuming that the sponsors might have put pressure to remove it. I can assure that there is nothing in this story that ‘promotes LGBTQ rights,” claimed the director.

‘Rupantor’ removed from YouTube channel, director speaks out

Samira Khan Mahi, Rafat Mozumder Rinku and Farhan Ahmed Jovan during the shooting of “Rupantor”.

Featuring Farhan Ahmed Jovan and Samira Khan Mahi, the story centers on an artist who seeks to explore his religious identity after being separated from his family at an early age during a rail accident. He grew up at an orphanage and was taken care of by a man whom he refers to as mama (maternal uncle).

The artist (played by Jovan) draws a portrait of a girl, which another girl (played by Samira) admires and wants to meet the artist. However, the artist shows no interest and prefers to remain isolated. Despite this, the girl manages to meet him and subsequently proposes marriage to him.

The plot further reveals that the reason behind his isolation is a physical condition caused by a hormonal change, which leads him to avoid social gatherings. Upon experiencing this strange change, he wanders and visits a doctor who explains to him that he is naturally transforming into a female mentally even though he is physically a male.

‘Rupantor’ removed from YouTube channel, director speaks out

Rinku shared that he is tired of getting hateful comments and threats over the phone and on social media. “People are threatening me and the producers, I am tired now! Many have praised this plot, for being different from all other Eid fictions. During this experimental phase if we get such obstacles then it is really sad and by removing this production it means we are losing to offer diverse stories to the audiences. Most people are judging without watching it, they have only watched some snippets where Jovan wears feminine attires and make-up.”

While the director claims that the project has no connection or does not intend to promote LGBTQ in any way, it is now a question to the audience who have watched and praised the production—what actually went wrong?

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