Leading Tamil actor-producer Vishal appeared on video on Thursday, September 28, alleging that he had to pay a bribe of Rs. 6.5 lakh to get a censor certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for the release of his Mark Antony in Hindi. He claimed in his statement that he possessed all the necessary proof to back his claims in his statement, while clarifying that the video was not to promote Mark Antony, but was related to the film, adding that a scam had taken place at the CBFC.
Addressing the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vishal said, "We applied for the Hindi censor certificate online at the last minute due to technical issues. But, we were taken aback by what happened at the CBFC office in Mumbai. When my person visited the office, we were given an option to pay the price of Rs. 6.5 lakh and get the certification done on the same day. There were no other options for us." He added, "We were supposed to give Rs. 3 lakhs for the screening to happen at the CBFC and another Rs. 3.5 lakh to obtain the certificate." Vishal then named a woman who allegedly handled the transactions, while also claiming that she had told them that it was a common practice to make the payment stating that people have paid Rs. 4 lakh during submission of their films 15 days before the release date.
Posting the video on X, Vishal wrote, "#Corruption being shown on silver screen is fine. But not in real life. Cant digest. Especially in govt offices. And even worse happening in #CBFC Mumbai office. Had to pay 6.5 lacs for my film #MarkAntonyHindi version. 2 transactions. 3 Lakhs for screening and 3.5 Lakhs for certificate. Never faced this situation ever in my career. Had no option but to pay the concerned mediator #Menaga coz too much at stake since movie released today. Bringing this to the notice of Hon Chief Minister of Maharashtra and my Hon PM Narendra Modiji. Doing this is not for me but for future producers. NOT HAPPENING. My hard earned money gone for corruption ??? No way. Evidence down for all to hear. Hope truth prevails as always. GB" (sic)
#Corruption being shown on silver screen is fine. But not in real life. Cant digest. Especially in govt offices. And even worse happening in #CBFC Mumbai office. Had to pay 6.5 lacs for my film #MarkAntonyHindi version. 2 transactions. 3 Lakhs for screening and 3.5 Lakhs for… pic.twitter.com/3pc2RzKF6l— Vishal (@VishalKOfficial) September 28, 2023
With Vishal alleging corruption in regard to the Hindi release of his Mark Antony at the CBFC, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Friday, September 29, informed that a probe has been launched to look into the matter. The I&B Ministry wrote on X, "The issue of corruption in CBFC brought forth by actor @VishalKOfficial is extremely unfortunate. The Government has zero tolerance for corruption and strictest action will be taken against anyone found involved. A senior officer from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has been deputed to Mumbai to conduct an inquiry today itself. We request everyone to cooperate with the Ministry, by providing information about any other instance of harassment by CBFC at firstname.lastname@example.org" (sic)
The issue of corruption in CBFC brought forth by actor @VishalKOfficial is extremely unfortunate.— Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (@MIB_India) September 29, 2023
The Government has zero tolerance for corruption and strictest action will be taken against anyone found involved. A senior officer from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting…
Mark Antony starring Vishal alongside S J Suryah has been directed by Adhik Ravichandran featuring music composed by National Award winner G. V. Prakash Kumar and is already a massive box office success in Tamil and Telugu languages.