There are responsibilities you can't get rid of by saying, "We showed things the way they are". No. You have to categorically state that a given practice is not ideal/problematic.
That's where Indian Matchmaking failed its viewers and that is why its Emmy nomination has taken people by surprise.
Indian matchmaking, really? How does this regressive show get an Emmy nomination?— P (@DelenaJily) July 14, 2021
Indian matchmaking just got an Emmy nomination😂 like wtf— Charu (@charuthekutty) July 15, 2021
Post the release of the widely popular show, which, as the name suggests, tried to find suitable matches for people looking to marry, there were a lot of conversations about a lot of things.
That Aparna is actually not a 'bitch', she is just a self-aware, ambitious woman. That someone's mother repeatedly saying that she wants a "flexible woman" for her son is plain sexist.
Now, these things should have been addressed by the makers. I'll tell you why, because it's a 'reality show' and the viewers actively look for themselves or people they know, in the participants.
So someone who relates to Aparna, is now thinking if her personality would also become a topic of discussion. And someone's parents will probably think it's okay to demand that their son's wife be a person who compromises even if she doesn't want to.
We can't afford that. Especially in a country like ours, where things like dowry, casteism are still a very big reality.
A regressive, problematic and discriminatory show like "Indian Matchmaking" getting nominated for the Emmys.— Shilpak. (@ugach_kahitarii) July 15, 2021
This is fucked up on so many levels.#Emmys2021
To quote Srishty Ranjan, an anti-caste activist from her interview given to Vice:
Arranged marriages in India are very much caste-based, so when you have a show that features a matchmaker going through biodatas that [explicitly] mention caste, or say the women should be ‘flexible’, you’re promoting ideas that harm Dalit women like me.
Emmy's can do better than this. It's an award that was given to Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller Bridge a few years ago. Fleabag gave a whole new revolutionary turn to feminist writing for TV.
Schitt's Creek won several awards last year. Schitt's Creek is the warmest and most effective commentary on inclusivity we have seen in a while.
When it comes to reality shows, you have Queer Eye, where a bunch of queer individuals travel and transform the lives of people, beyond their clothes and homes.
One can't put Indian Matchmaking in the same category. In a world where people are making relentless efforts to achieve equality, to even nominate the show with such blatant regressive themes, is wrong. It takes away from the struggles faced by the marginalised and that isn't (shouldn't be) what the Emmy Awards stand for.
The selectors made a good choice with Delhi Crime last year but this time around, they have messed it up.
Indian Matchmaking functions on the reaction of its viewers. The feelings of shock, voyeurism, and even anger - it does what it wants to do and stands on the side to see you respond to it.
All we are saying is, if a show is being nominated for the Emmy's, it needs to be more than a bystander. It needs to speak up.