Trigger Warning: The following article contains details about sexual assault and violence. The details may be traumatic for survivors. Reader discretion is advised.
2017 was the year of reckoning after the #MeToo movement toppled many a media moghul from their proverbial thrones in Hollywood. That sexual misconduct allegation has brought down powerful men who have exploited their position, besides starting conversations centred around consent.
Even though Bollywood largely distanced itself from joining the debate, there have been a few actors who spoke out about sexual harassment in the industry, albeit without naming the perpetrators.
Tanushree Dutta, in an explosive interview on 26 September, changed that. She has whipped up a storm in Bollywood by accusing Nana Patekar of sexual harassment. The actor did not just describe the ordeal, but she has also levelled allegations against those involved - actor Nana Patekar, producer Sami Siddiqui, director Rakesh Sarang and choreographer Ganesh Acharya.
At the trailer launch of Thugs of Hindostan on 27 September, Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan were asked to comment on the sexual harassment allegation. Amitabh completely side-stepped the issue and said, “Neither am I Tanushree, nor am I Nana”.
Aamir, a little more sensitive to the issue, said,
Without knowing the veracity of something, it’s not right for me to comment on it. But whenever something like this does happen, it’s a sad thing. Whether this has happened, that is for people to investigate it.
Worse than Amitabh’s comment, it was the loud cheers that followed from the audience. Take a look at the video:
Ever thought about taking a stand?
When the Weinstein scandal broke, there was a deafening silence in Hollywood. But it was followed by an uproar that has rocked the entertainment industry. Let’s hope Bollywood follows suit.