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The homophobic responses to Hunt prove why mainstream actors shy away from doing LGBT characters

Netizens haven’t reacted kindly to a pivotal character’s sexual identity in the cop drama starring Sudheer Babu, Srikanth, Bharath

The homophobic responses to Hunt prove why mainstream actors shy away from doing LGBT characters
A scene in Hunt
  • Srivathsan Nadadhur

Last Updated: 03.44 AM, Feb 12, 2023

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When Hunt, the Telugu version of the Malayalam hit Mumbai Police, was officially announced, not many viewers here were confident that the remake would retain the homosexual identity of its main protagonist (originally played by Prithviraj Sukumaran). However, when the cop drama released in Telugu, many were pleasantly surprised by how it stayed true to the original and didn’t tamper with its soul.


Sudheer Babu, with Hunt, became a rare mainstream actor took up the challenge of playing a gay character in a Telugu film. He certainly termed the idea a risk prior to its release and the indifferent response to his attempt from crowds only validated his fears. While it was alright to not like the idea as a whole, it was rather appalling to notice how many noted influencers, critics took a dig at the actor for taking up a ‘gay’ role and ridiculing the entire film for the same reason.

The original Mumbai Police was certainly a revelation given how it normalised a major Malayalam star playing an LGBT role in a commercial film. The story is about how a cop, after meeting with a ghastly accident, experiences partial memory loss, tries to gather details from his past to solve a case. In the process, he is baffled to realise his sexual identity.

It was important that a sensitive take on the conflicts plaguing the LGBTQ community was made in Telugu cinema with a recognisable face, given its embarrassing track record on using their sexual identity for cheap humour. In the film, it’s the fear of being outed as a gay in public that forces the pivotal character to commit a murder. Though depressing, the film reflects the indifference with which the society treats the community on a daily basis.

Despite being hailed for his courage to take up the role, sadly, Sudheer Babu earned more brickbats for his choice. This further proves why most renowned actors shy away from accepting anything beyond the obvious in Telugu cinema. Most comments on Hunt, post its OTT release on aha and Amazon Prime Video, ask the actor to opt for something ‘safer’ in the commercial space.

While Hunt certainly can’t be hailed as a masterpiece, one saw it as an earnest attempt to understand the mind of a cop and how he uses memory loss as an opportunity to start life on a clean slate. Going by the response for Hunt on OTT and in theatres, it’s safe to say that no major star would even think of playing a homosexual on screen in the near future. After all, we certainly get the films we deserve.

(Directed by Mahesh Surapaneni, Hunt, starring Sudheer Babu, Srikanth, Bharath, is streaming on aha and Amazon Prime Video)