On Wednesday (26 August, 2015), MSF India became aware of being associated with a new Bollywood film “Phantom” after an actor (one of the leading stars in India) said, during an interview, that their character in the film worked for MSF.
The film was released today (28 August) and whilst MSF is not mentioned, the lead characters play the role of an employee who work for an organisation called “Medicine International”.
We would like to clarify that MSF has never been consulted or even contacted over the content of this film and is not associated with it in any way.
We are relieved that MSF’s name has not been directly used in the movie “Phantom”. On the basis of the promotional trailer and the interviews given by some of the film’s actors, MSF was deeply concerned that film would feature our organisation and portray us in a damaging way. Misrepresentation of humanitarian organisations like MSF could threaten the lives of our patients, staff and undermine our ability to work, especially in the world’s most sensitive conflicts where people might not otherwise have access to medical care.
The organisation in the film has aspects that are confusingly similar to MSF, whilst others are entirely incorrect. Such a blurring of the lines between fact and fiction can have real consequences for our ability to work in difficult places where our access depends on people trusting that we are a neutral, impartial and independent organisation.
We are continuing to explore legal possibilities to address the issue.
You can read more about MSF’s charter, principles and the way we work, here: /msf-charter