No, we’re not kidding. Yes, it has come to this. In light of the recent meat ban in some states and beef politics which have been prevalent throughout India Hotstar has now implemented a trigger warning for beef before international cooking shows.
Yes, a trigger warning: like the ones they use before showing often traumatic, graphic events that may resound with victims triggering them to remember/relive past events and experiences. It appears that ‘viewer discretion’ is advised in order to ensure that sentiments don’t get offended (I can only imagine the trauma of watching someone cook beef in front of you, the horror!).
The warning precedes the shows of Masterchef US, Masterchef Australia, and Masterchef Junior, all of which, I might add, are highly popular shows here on the subcontinent. All of which have a strong beef culture. Although the trigger warning for beef is different in each show it all boils down to the same thing – may contain images of beef, viewer discretion advised.
Clearly, Hotstar is doing it’s best to ensure that they aren’t liable for any damage caused to any ‘sensitive viewers’ but I do have to wonder if it is really necessary. How rigid has the cultural taboo against beef become? And don’t use the argument about veganism, if that were the case the use of chicken, fish and lamb would have been mentioned as well. Even Masterchef India went veg-only in the last 2 seasons.
Even though the Allahabad High Court has ruled that according to the constitution sale and consumption of meat is a part of our right to life – clearly watching beef on the tele is too much for our sentiments to take. We wouldn’t want someone to get triggered while watching Masterchef and react by physically harming another human being – oh, wait.