New Delhi, Nov 24: Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani, at the centre of a row over the James Bond film kiss shortening episode, on Tuesday said he hasn't watched "Spectre" as it is not his job but the cuts made in the movie were as per rules.
He said being chairman of the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) does not imply that he needs to watch the movie. "We have given the certificate but I have not watched the movie.
I don't have any role in the examining committee. I am the chairman but it is not my job to watch the movie. I have not watched a single shot of the film. I have not even watched the kiss, which has been debated upon," Nihalani said in an interview to Times Now.
When asked why he defended the cuts in the film when he has not even watched it, he said, "My panel has watched it, my office members have watched it."
Nihalani said he failed to understand why there was so much hue and cry now as Bond movies have undergone even lengthier cuts in the past. "Point out something I have not done within rules, then I have no problem in stepping down. The cuts were made in the past, but there was no controversy then. Now various things are being said," Nihalani told PTI.
He said the producers of "Spectre" have, in fact, written a letter to the board, expressing happiness that it was perhaps for the first time that the film, which was given a U/A rating, was cleared for release with minimum cuts.
"In this film, we have not broken its continuity with these cuts. What has been done is according to present rules, we are going by the rules," he said.
The chairman has been facing criticism in the media, from the industry and his own board members for his unilateral approach in clearing films. Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan had said censor board "has been a little aggressive in its approach in last six to eight months, which is worrying".
According to veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, censorship should be abolished. "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" helmer Kabir Khan said he found the whole fiasco surrounding the censorship of "Spectre" kissing scenes "ridiculous".
"We have to be told as adults we can't see a kiss? And a kiss being reduced from 30 seconds to 8 seconds? Are those 22 seconds going to destroy our morality and the culture of our country? This is absolutely ridiculous that censor board has to act like a nanny. Their job is to certify."