Image: Nilotpal Mrinal/Facebook/TVF/Instagram
Is The Viral Fever (TVF)’s ‘original’ series Aspirants not original? The show has got embroiled in a controversy after a writer accused the makers of lifting his story. The content platform confirmed receiving a legal notice and promised to co-operate in its ‘investigation’.
Sahitya Akademi Award-winning writer Nilotpal Mrinal claimed in a social media post that Aspirants has been ‘copied’ from his book Dark Horse. He claimed that the makers lifted ‘30 per cent' of the plot, and thought that a writer like him would not take them on.
He stated that he might have ‘woken up’ late, but he was not going to give up without a fight. He stated that if he loses, the defeat will only be his, but if he wins, it will be the victory of all writers whose work is exploited by people in Bollywoood without due credit.
Mrinal also shared a photo with TVF founder Arunabh Kumar from 2020 and claimed that he had only told the latter about the potential to convert the book into a film. He, however, expressed regret that their meeting did not remain as ‘beautiful’ as he thought it was before. He also asked Kumar why he did not stop the writer of the series from copying the work when he knew about it being plagiarised.
He also urged his readers to put out posts that supported his claims and help in his fight.
TVF, meanwhile, issued a statement:
“TVF is a creator-centric organization which has been nurturing writers since inception and takes their rights very seriously. A social media post has alleged that our show “Aspirants” has been inspired from another literary work. The Company has recieved a notice in this regard and we will fully cooperate to investigate the matter.”
Aspirants had premiered on 7 April, and aired one episode every week, with the five-episode series finale streaming on May 8.
The show traces the lives of UPSC exam aspirants. The show stars Naveen Kasturia, Shivankit Parihar, Abhilash Thapliyal, Sunny Hinduja, among others.
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