B’Wood’s #MeToo: Aahana Kumra Speaks up Against Sajid Khan
It’s reckoning time for the Bollywood film fraternity.
Tanushree Dutta’s sexual harassment allegations against Nana Patekar have sparked an outrage and given voice to countless survivors to speak up against sexual assault and harassment at the workplace. B-Town bigwigs, including Subhash Ghai, Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Vikas Bahl, Anu Malik, Anirban Blah, Mukesh Chhabra have been named in the #MeToo storm that has hit Bollywood, amongst others. Even as we weigh in on the allegations and the rightful justice for the survivors, more accounts emerge against members of the Hindi film industry.
Anu Malik steps down as ‘Indian Idol 10’ judge
Rahul Raj Singh accuses Mushtaq Shiekh sexually harassing him
KWAN founder Anirban Blah rescued from alleged suicide attempt
Mukesh Chhabra suspended from ‘Kizzie Aur Manny’
Nana Patekar sends notice to CINTAA; denies allegations
Sushant Singh Rajput responds to #MeToo allegations
Vikas Bahl files a defamation case against Kashyap & Motwane
Business Head of Y-Films, Ashish Patil’s services terminated by YRF
Trigger Warning: The following article contains details about sexual assault and violence. The details may be traumatic for survivors. Reader discretion is advised.
Aahana Kumra Accuses Sajid Khan of Sexual Harassment
Aahana Kumra, in an interview with Bombay Times, accuses Sajid Khan of sexual harassment. She said, “I had a meeting with Sajid Khan about a year ago, knowing the fact that he is a shady guy. I met him and he did the same thing that Saloni (Chopra) has written about him. Same drill — you go to his house, you are escorted to his room which is pretty dark. He makes you watch what he’s watching.
I was on the verge of committing suicide, because this culture is so normalised by certain people. I couldn’t live with it.
(Source: Bombay Times)
Wasn't Aware of the Entire Episode: Tanushree's Brother-In-Law Vatsal Sheth
Actor Vatsal Sheth has spoken out about the harassment that Tanushree Dutta has faced. Sheth is married to Tanushree’s sister Ishita. In an interview with the Times of India, he was quoted as saying, “It is very brave of Tanushree to come out and speak about the incident that she faced. I also got to know recently from Ishita what had happened as I was not aware.”
He also said, “I am very glad that she is getting a lot of support, not just from Bollywood but everyone. Yes, I do see changes happening around. Certain things which were happening in the industry needed to be corrected or stopped.”
(Source: Times of India)
More Noise Than Change: Malaika Arora on #MeToo in Bollywood
The #MeToo movement has entered India, starting a conversation around making the workplace safe for all. But actress Malaika Arora feels there is more noise than actual change at the moment.
"I don't see too much of a change. I hear people. I think there is more noise than change," said Arora in an interview with IANS .
"If we are talking about this industry, one is seeing a lot (of things) happening. People are talking about it. But for actual change to happen or for people to actually sit up and do something about it and actually make a movement out of it, mindset has to change and people's mindset cannot change overnight," she added.
Anonymous Accuser Responds to Star India
The anonymous accuser, who had made allegations of sexual exploitation against Star India Chairman and CEO Uday Shankar, has responded to Star India’s request to come forward so as to assure a fair probe.
The accuser, in an email written to women’s rights lawyer and external member of Star India’s Internal Complaints Committee Veena Gowda, has said the exercise would be an eyewash to save Shankar rather than see that justice is done.
Ad Guru Ravi Deshpande Accused of Sexual Harassment
Whyness founder Ravi Deshpande has been accused of sexual harassment by journalist Meghna Pant. Pant took to Twitter mentioning the first hand account of two victims.
Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Is an Epidemic: Swara Bhasker
Actor Swara Bhasker, who has been a supporter of India's #MeToo movement, says that sexual harassment cases at the workplace are like an epidemic. She hopes to bring awareness about it via the film and television industry.
The Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA) recently announced that it will be setting up committees to tackle sexual harassment in the industry and will have actors Swara Bhasker, Renuka Shahane and Raveena Tandon among others as members.
Talking about her role in the committee, Swara said, "I am part of a sub-committee which is formed by CINTAA which will conduct workshop regarding awareness against sexual harassment at the workplace for its members. We have total 24 unions in our industry and it has more than 5 lakh members in it so we will try to work together on this front with these unions."
"When you hear about #MeToo stories then, you will realize that cases of sexual harassment at workplace are like an epidemic. It is like a disease so, awareness regarding that is really important so through this sub-committee, we will generate awareness among our members," she said.
(With inputs from IANS)
Vinta Nanda Records Statement At Mumbai Police Station
Writer and producer Vinta Nanda recorded her statement at Oshiwara police station on Friday, 26 October. Mumbai Mirror has quoted a police officer as saying, “She had earlier submitted a written application. The statement is part of understanding her complaint in detail. She reached the police station around 11:30 am and the exercise lasted around six hours.”
Earlier this month, Nanda accused Nath of allegedly raping her 19 years ago.
Her lawyer, Dhruti Kapadia, has been quoted as saying, “On recording of the statement, we believe proper inquiry and investigation will continue as we trust our police to do their best for victims like Vinta.”
(Source: Mumbai Mirror)
Current Atmosphere Like a Tsunami: Arbaaz Khan on #MeToo
Actor Arbaaz Khan has said that he supports the #MeToo movement as no one has the right to harass anyone.
The actor, however, said innocent people should not be framed. "I fully support the #MeToo movement. Sexual harassment survivors should get justice but we also have to take care of the fact that no one misuses this movement. The kind of atmosphere right now is that people are taking decisions based on anyone's accusations. We need to be sensible in these cases," he said in a group interview.
The actor said the movement is "like a tsunami" and since it's new, people are taking time to come to a conclusion regarding corrective measures."If the accused has admitted to wrongdoing, apologised for it and wants to redeem himself so, I don't know how do we solve these things. The current atmosphere is like a tsunami. No one knows how the decisions will be taken and what will eventually happen. We need to listen to sensible people... I hope the court brings new laws regarding these cases. I hope some positive changes will emerge from this movement," he added.
(With inputs from PTI)
Dancer Alleges Sexual Harassment on Sets of 'Housefull 4'
An unnamed dancer has accused another dancer of molesting her on the sets of Housefull 4. According to a report by India Today, she raised an alarm when the alleged incident took place, which drew the attention of Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh. She went on to say that Kumar encouraged her to file a police complaint. The person accused fled the sets in the meanwhile.
IANS reports that the film’s executive producer Manoj Mitra said in a statement: "It is disheartening to hear about this incident. As an executive producer, I would like to clarify that the recent incident that showed up in the news related to the sets of Housefull 4, is something that evidently did not happen on the sets or during the shoot; it took place off the sets and hence I have to state that it is beyond our capabilities.”
"I would also like to clarify that Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh had packed up way before this incident occurred. It was their personal matter and nothing related to our film shoot," he added.
(With inputs from: India Today)
Same Standards of Behaviour for Everyone: Netflix’s Ted Sarandos on #MeToo
The Quint caught up with Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix. He spoke about the fallout of the #MeToo movement and the future of the popular series Sacred Games, which was recently hanging in the balance following allegations of sexual harassment against Vikas Bahl, who was one of the show’s producers and part of erstwhile production house Phantom Films. Varun Grover, who was part of the writing team, too had similar allegations levelled against him.
“We looked at all the facts for an investigation by professionals that lasted several weeks and came to the conclusion that we could move on,” he said.
“We are very committed to safety and respect on the set and our offices—of anyone who works for Netflix. We extend the same training programme on[the prevention of sexual] harassment to our Indian productions as we do in the US. We have the exact same standards around the world,” he added.
Read more on The Quint.
They Are Washing Their Dirty Linen: Jackie Shroff on Nana Patekar and Sajid Khan
Jackie Shroff has commented on the controversies surrounding former colleagues Nana Patekar and Sajid Khan, reports IANS. "It's unfortunate at the moment. Both of them were my colleagues. They are fighting it out in public and washing their dirty linen out there. People are watching and enjoying out there," he said.
According to an IANS report, when asked to comment on the two Bollywood celebs who have been ousted from 'Housefull 4' by Fox Star Studios, the producers of the film, Shroff said, "I don't want to fan it. If they take (these men) in their films or don't, it's their call. If they don't remove them, there might be an agitation. So let it rest."
'Balekempa' Withdrawn from MAMI Film Fest After Director Accused of Sexual Assault
After a budding screenwriter shared her account of sexual harassment by the acclaimed Kannada film director Ere Gowda, Zoo Entertainment, the producer of his film Balekempa has withdrawn it from Jio MAMI 20th Mumbai Film Festival with Star.
"The producers of 'Balekempa' have withdrawn the film from the festival and have issued an official statement. The film will not screen at Jio MAMI With Star 2018," read a tweet posted on the festival's official Twitter account on Wednesday.
The statement read: "We find the allegation shocking, and are deeply disturbed and saddened. As the producers of Balekempa, directed by Ere Gowda, we feel a need to take decisive action regarding how we wish to take things forward with the film.
As of now, we are withdrawing the film from all its festival commitments until we have further clarity on the facts."
This comes a day after the organisers of Dharamshala International Film Festival announced that Balekampa will not be screened at the festival.
Mumbai Film Fest to Host Special Programme on #MeToo
Apart from putting together a "robust programme" for the Jio MAMI 20th Mumbai Film Festival with Star and hosting filmmakers like Lucrecia Martel, Darren Aronofsky and Sean Baker, Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) will show solidarity with the #MeToo movement through a special programme on the global movement which is against sexual harassment and assault.
"The 20th edition this year, has some exceptional talent like Darren Aronofsky and Sean Baker. We have been able to put together a robust programme that has films from almost every genre possible that people would want to watch at MAMI," Smriti Kiran, Creative Director, Jio MAMI 20th Mumbai Film Festival with Star, told IANS.
"We have over 200 films in the programme being showcased at 10 venues and over 20 screens at the theatres during the festival. There are many movies that will be premiering with us."
Amidst the #MeToo storm, various films have also been dropped from the line-up of the fest, which will conclude on November 1. Rajat Kapoor's Kadhakh and All India Backchod (AIB)-produced Chintu Ka Birthday are among those discarded. Rajat and members of AIB were accused of sexual harassment.
Among the main offerings, Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota will get its Asia premiere at the festival, which will begin here on Thursday.
'Radha Kyun Gori...' Makers Suspend Association With Vicky Sidana
Radha Kyun Gori Main Kyun Kaala makers have suspended their association with casting director Vicky Sidana, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by actress Kritika Sharma.
Kritika has accused Sidana of trying to rape her in 2013. According to several reports, she has filed an official complaint with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Maharashtra.
Studio 5 Elements, the studio behind Radha Kyun Gori Main Kyun Kaala, on Wednesday issued a statement, saying they are distancing themselves from Sidana until a thorough investigation is carried out.
"Studio 5 Elements is committed to creating a safe, healthy and peaceful working environment for women. We strongly believe that anyone found guilty of misconduct should be punished," the statement read.
"As a production house, we stand by the #MeToo movement and have decided not to work with any proven offenders. Our association with Vicky Sidana will remain held on abeyance until a thorough investigation," the statement added.
Iulia Vantur will be seen playing the role of a Lord Krishna disciple in the film, which will be directed by Prem R Soni.
Priyanka Bose Accuses Sajid Khan of Sexual Misconduct
After Saloni, Simran Suri, Rachel White, Karishma Upadhyay, the Lion actor Priyanka Bose has shared her Me Too Story accusing Sajid Khan of sexual misconduct.
“He walked in and lay down on the sofa. Over his trousers, he held his dick in his hand and said, ‘If I don’t get a hard-on looking at you, how will my audience?’ I cried on my way home. I still can’t remember how I got out of there. It was all too foggy,” Bose told Pinkvilla.
Sanjana Sanghi Breaks Her Silence On Harassment Allegations Against Sushant Singh Rajput
Sanjana Sanghi clarified that the allegations levelled against Sushant Singh Rajput by an online portal as completely false. Read more here.
Ajay Devgn’s Make-up Artist Fired Over Sexual Misconduct Accusations
Tanya Paul Singh, a script and continuity supervisor on the sets of Ajay Devgn and Tabu starrer De De Pyaar De, produced by Luv Ranjan, shared her #MeToo story in a long social media post and accused Ajay Devgn’s make-up artist Harish Wadhone.
"As an assistant director at the monitor with headphones when the first AD announced roll sound, I felt hands on my shoulder. Since I’m wired and already with a lot of continuity files in my hand, it’s almost impossible to look behind who it was. I could tell it was a man. He began to give me a very strong massage from head to the tailbone. The touch did not seem right. In the middle of the shot, I couldn’t say anything. He picked a good time to victimize...the director said the shot was okay, but it had a continuity jerk, so, after 'cut', I had to run to inform them about the potential mistake. I had no time to respond to him. When I returned to the monitor, he said I should thank him for the massage. His presence made me extremely uncomfortable.”
She went on to say that Wadhone tried to molest her again. Tanya says that after Luv Ranjan spoke to Ajay Devgn, Wadhone was fired from the film. She took to Twitter to thank the actor and the producer.
After Anirban Blah, Exceed's Co-Founder Afsar Zaidi Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Mid Day reports that after KWAN’s Anirban Blah was named in the #MeToo movement in India, several survivors reached out to the daily with accusations against Afsar Zaidi, co-founder of Exceed Entertainment. The celebrity management company caters to clients like Saif Ali Khan and Sonakshi Sinha amongst others.
"He would make me stand in the middle of the office and ask everyone to dress like me. Initially, it was flattering, but after a point, it was systematic. On certain days, he would make comments like, 'Are we showing too much back today?' He would look me up and down," said one of the survivors.
"Afsar has a terrace next to his cabin where he was hosting the party. I was told that Hrithik Roshan, Bipasha Basu, and Shilpa Shetty were to eventually make an appearance with their respective managers. Afsar was physically grabbing people and pouring drinks down their throats. While I kept dodging him, at one point, he grabbed me from behind, put his hands on my breast and forced me to down a drink,” she narrated her ordeal. Another survivor corroborated her account calling it ‘near-rape’.
Zaidi denied the allegations and said that they were an attempt to malign him. “If the complainant has a genuine case, let her come forward and present it before the ICC constituted by the firm,” he added.
Rakhi Sawant Threatens Tanushree Dutta With Rs 50 Crore Defamation Case
After Tanushree Dutta filed a Rs 10 crore defamation case against Rakhi Sawant, the latter has now threatened to hit back with a Rs 50 crore case. In a series of Instagram videos, Rakhi accused Tanushree of doing this for publicity, taking drugs and more.
AR Rahman Supports the #MeToo Movement
AR Rahman took to social media to support the #MeToo movement and called for a cleaner, more respectful film industry.
Star CEO, Uday Shankar Accused of Sexual Harassment
An anonymous complainant has accused Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India and President, 21st Century Fox - Asia, of sexual harassment.
The accuser gave a detailed account of how she quit her job after facing sexual exploitation at the hands of the CEO.
FWICE to Issue Show Cause Notice to Alok Nath, Sajid Khan
The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) on Monday said it will issue show cause notices to actor Alok Nath and actor-director Sajid Khan, who have been accused of sexual harassment and violation.
In a statement, FWICE said a show cause notice will be sent to Alok as his response to its affiliate association Indian Film and Television Directors' Association (IFTDA), was not "satisfactory", and because Sajid did not respond to the letter of IFTDA on being accused of sexual harassment and molestation by a few female members of the industry.
"The FWICE along with IFTDA pledge to support the victims of sexual misconduct, irrespective of the gender, with our full strength and might," read the statement.
This step follows a meeting between top officials of FWICE and members of IFTDA.
It has been made mandatory for each production house to form a separate 'Special Redressal Committee' in accordance with the Vishakha guidelines to closely monitor such incidents occurring on their projects (film/serial). This committee will empower the victims to come out with such issues openly and help eradicate such malpractices from the industry completely.
"The committee shall extend full support to the victim to go ahead with the case and all the legal guidance and help shall be offered to the victim till the judgment on the case is awarded by the court of law," the statement read.
'Nashe Si Chadh Gayi' Singer Caralisa Monteiro on Allegations Against Anu Malik
Standing by the survivors who have spoken out against composer, Anu Malik, singer Caralisa Monteiro told Bombay Times, “I’ve had a specific incident with Anu Malik. I had to tell him that I only work in a studio. This happened almost 15 years ago when I was starting out. I never worked with him since...Anu Malik wanted me to come over to his place to jam with him. He was insistent that I came home as that’s how it was done. And I told him if you need me to sing a song, I’m a professional recording artiste, so I will meet you at the studio, take the brief and then track. So when I met him later, I went with my dear friend Clinton (Cerejo, singer), because I was uncomfortable going alone. Everyone knew the kind of individual Anu Malik was/is.”
Tanushree Dutta Files Rs 10 Crore Defamation Case Against Rakhi Sawant
Tanushree Dutta's advocate Nitin Satpute has said that they have filed a defamation case against actor Rakhi Sawant. Rakhi held a press conference supporting Nana Patekar a few days back in which she maligned Tanushree calling her a liar and unhinged. According to Times of India, Rakhi said, “Was she (Tanushree) in coma for 10 years?” and also accused her of blaming Nana for publicity. Tanushree has now filed a civil and criminal defamation case for Rs 10 crore against Rakhi.
Vikas Bahl Returns to Edit Hrithik Roshan's 'Super 30'?
Now that the survivor who had accused Vikas Bahl of sexual harassment has declined to file charges, the director is back to work. According to Deccan Chronicle, he is now working on the edit of his next film Super 30, starring Hrithik Roshan. Producers Sajid Nadiadwala and Reliance had not sacked Bahl when the news of his misconduct broke. Leading man Hrithik Roshan had released a statement on how it would not be possible for him to work with someone against whom such gross allegations of misconduct had been made. Meanwhile, Bahl has filed a defamation suit against his former partners at the now-defunct Phantom Films.
Every Word Said and Written About Anu Malik Is True: Singer Alisha Chinai
According to a report in The Asian Age, singer Alisha Chinai has voiced support for the women who have accused Anu Malik of sexual harassment. She was quoted saying, “Every word said and written about Anu Malik is true. I stand by all the women who have finally spoken up. May they find peace and closure in their lives.”
Chinai had filed a sexual harassment suit against Malik in the 1990s. The composer and music director has been accused by four women so far, including singers Sona Mohapatra and Shweta Pandit.
Read more on The Quint.
#MeToo Has Shaken up the Patriarchy: Sushant Singh
TV actor and CINTAA General Secretary Sushant Singh says the #MeToo movement in India has shaken up the patriarchy, adding there is a tough fight ahead as the patriarchs will not give in so easily.
"#MeToo in India -- the ugliness has shaken me up. It has shaken up the Patriarchy too. The patriarchs won't give in so easily. It's going to become uglier. Let's not celebrate right now, this is just the beginning. We've a very tough fight ahead of us. Don't stop now," Sushant tweeted.
The #MeToo movement in India started after actress and former beauty queen Tanushree Dutta in September recalled an unpleasant episode with veteran actor Nana Patekar from the sets of "Horn 'OK' Pleassss" in 2008, reports IANS.
Payal Rohatgi Urges YRF to Take Action Against Dibakar Banerjee
Payal Rohatgi, who had accused director Dibakar Banerjee of harassment back in 2011, has said that in the wake of the #MeToo movement in Bollywood it is to be hoped that YRF woud take some action against him. Banerjee is currently helming YRF’s Sandeep Au Pinky Faraar starring Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra. Rohatgi told Mid-Day:
“Dibakar did six films after that. He doesn’t look like a villain, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he used his sob story of a bad marriage to make a move. I didn’t file an FIR against him because I was intimidated. In the wake of #MeToo, I hope things will be different. I don’t know if YRF [Yash Raj Films, producer of Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar] will take a stand. YRF knows about Dibakar.”Payal Rohatgi, Actor
The actor also shared how she stopped receiving work after she called Banerjee out.
“I was working opposite actors like Irrfan and Paresh Rawal. But after I held the press conference, no one called me for an audition again. I stopped getting films. So I had to move to television. I kept myself alive with stage shows. It was a case of one brother backing another. According to Anurag [Kashyap], I was having an affair with Dibakar. But if I were hypothetically having an affair, that still doesn’t make Dibakar right; he was married at that time.”
She is however not keen to take up the matter legally as she doesn’t want her family and fiance to go through the trauma.
Raveena Tandon Talks Workplace Harassment
Supporting India’s #MeToo movement, Raveena Tandon says even though she has not been a victim of sexual harassment, the countless stories of ill-treatment of women anger her. The 43-year-old actor said she has been through “professional harassment” in the film industry and hence understands the trauma. “I was never sexually harassed as I was not the one to just take it. I would give it back. But I can imagine the trauma that the young girls go through. It is so sad and disheartening to hear these stories. It angers me.
“I have been through professional harassment. I did lose out on couple of films. There were few women journalists, who would tarnish our reputation in their magazines or newspapers. Like, from being called a liar to delusional liar, etc. They helped the heroes,” Raveena told PTI.
Talking about her harassment experience, the actor said it was a disturbing phase as her reputation was maligned. “They work in tandem to ruin an actress’s life,” she added, without taking any names.
Star India Internal Panel Writes to Anonymous Accuser to Come Forward
The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser -- who had alleged "sexual exploitation" of women employees -- asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.
In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee's external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.
The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 -- saying she would remain anonymous -- had made sexual harassment allegations against the company's officials in an open letter.
Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had "suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy" in respect of the allegations. We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment," read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.
Men Should Understand What Consent is: Ayushmann
Actor Ayushmann Khurrana has supported the #MeToo movement by saying that men should understand what consent is. Ayushmann visited the PVR Citi Mall to know the audience's reaction for his latest film "Badhaai Ho".
Reacting to the #MeToo campaign that has gathered momentum in India, especially in Bollywood, Ayushmann told IANS: “The #MeToo movement is a good movement, but at the same time, I feel both parties should be given equal opportunities to share their account and to prove their innocence. Having said that, I feel women should be respected and they shouldn’t be harassed. There should be stringent rules at every workplace. It is not only about workplace, but I think that the code of conduct should be followed in every sphere of society, be it our family or where we live.”
Asked whether these kind of measures are necessary to curb harassment at workplace, Ayushmann said: "I think we should have taken these measures long time ago, but whatever measures we have taken are absolutely correct.
Aspiring Actor Meira Omar Accuses Anirban Blah of Sexual Harassment
Another aspirant has accused Anirban Blah of harassment.
"He contacted me and asked about the meeting with the team. I told him the truth and he replied to me saying, 'Listen, my team is very basic. They only go for girls who are in the top league today. They don't know how to spot a star in the making. I am the one who creates stars and sees something, when no one else can. This is what I'm known for...He asked me to come over to his work space, as meeting in a public space would give people the wrong idea. He specifically mentioned that he didn't want tabloids writing about it...Everything he said that night was about how he is a man who can get girls to come out of their shell, bring out their inner sexiness and awaken other desires in men.
"He stressed that all this makes one a star. He even went ahead and told me about a specific case where a a girl reached out to him and she was gorgeous, but too timid and shy. So he locked her in his balcony in that same Juhu apartment, where we were sitting and forced her to masturbate,” she told The Times of India.
She alleged that Blah tried to forcibly kiss her.
Anu Malik Steps Down as Indian Idol Judge
"I have issued a statement to the channel - ‘I, Anu Malik, have decided to take a break from Indian Idol as I am currently unable to focus on my work on the show.’ The channel has been kind to agree for the same. Thank you,'' Anu Malik told Republic TV.
The composer told The Indian Express, “They have not asked me to step down. I have taken this stand.”
‘Anu Malik is no longer a part of Indian Idol jury panel. The show will continue its planned schedule & we'll invite some of the biggest names in Indian music as guests to join Vishal and Neha to judge extraordinary talent of Indian Idol season 10: Sony Entertainment Television,’ - reads Sony Entertainment TV’s statement to ANI.
Alleged KWAN Employee Says They Were Asked to Stay Quiet
‘I am an employee at KWAN. This is with regards to the statement released on 16th October 2018. We had a town hall meeting today and the entire staff has been warned to stay quiet about it. Anirban Blah is not out of the agency. To our notice, this is issued so no client leaves the agency. To start good talks about Kwan again we are asked to say he is out of services with Kwan and that's the not the truth. As a normal girl working here is wondering what about the clients like Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kalki, Shraddha, Kriti Sanon, Jacqueline, Radhika Apte and so many more are still quite about their own agent. Anirban tells us each of these girls are only made by him and tells us to spoil their name if the actors plan to leave Kwan. Urge media to talk about this and get this man and his team behind bars. And also talk about other managers namely Dhruv, Avinash, Jaya Saha, Fiona, Karishma Prakash terrorise the staff members to get cozy actors which will show Kwan serves them better. It's not one person but it's the management team who is all one. They all have the same sick ideology,’ the note reads.
'Indian Idol' Crew Member on Anu Malik's Predatory Behaviour
Danica D’Souza, who worked on the reality show Indian Idol for more than a year after joining in 2010 told Mid Day that ‘higher-ups’ were aware of Malik’s predatory behaviour but chose to shroud it in secrecy.
“This incident occurred in Kolkata. One of our colleagues from the production crew was travelling with a cameraman and Malik in a car to get sound bites. When she returned, she looked traumatised and told us of the unfortunate incident. She said once they had wrapped up their work, Malik touched her thigh in the car, and felt her up. She was startled. The cameraman who was sitting in the front seat wasn’t aware of what was going on behind him...In closed circles, we’d talk about Anu being a tharki. When this colleague reported the incident to seniors in the production house, some of them women, they turned a blind eye. They knew he abused power but nothing came of it. In fact, they told us all to take precaution by not meeting him alone,” she said.
Sources informed Mid Day that Anu Malik has been asked to step down from the reality show.
Filmmaker Writes Open Letter to MAMI Board Members Questioning Their Integrity
Filmmaker Shazia Iqbal, whose film Bebaak was to have its world premiere at MAMI this year has been dropped from the festival program because one of the producers is Anurag Kashyap.
“I understand there are ‘collateral damages’ in a battle but my film is as feminist as this battle we are fighting; and if you’re shutting down a film that starts a conversation against misogyny and patriarchy, then what side of the battle are you on?” she wrote in her open letter questioning their decision.
After Vikas Bahl was accused of sexual harassment, Phantom Films dissolved and Anurag Kashyap was dropped as a board member of MAMI for being “complicit” in the sexual harassment case.
After Sona Mohapatra, More Women Accuse Anu Malik of Harassment
Two women have anonymously shared anonymous accounts of sexual harassment. “In the brief meeting, the music composer had rubbed his body against me and offered a meek apology,” when she appeared shaken by his advances, reported Mid-day.
Atul Kasbekar Accused of Sexual Harassment, Responds
A model has accused fashion photographer and Bollywood Film Producer, Atul Kasbekar of sexual harassment. “After gathering a lot of courage, against the advice of my well wishers, I've finally mustered the courage of anonymously share my encounter with Shoumik Sen and Atul Kasbekar from the set of #CheatIndia. #MeToo @IndiaMeToo,” she wrote.
Atul Kasbekar has responded on Twitter via his company Ellipsis Entertainment.
The statement, signed by Kasbekar, Tanuj Garg, Shanti Sivaram, Swati Iyer and Piya Sawhney, reads: "We have no received any complaint of inappropriate behaviour by director Soumik Sen from any female member in our unit of 'Cheat India' during the shooting."
They pointed out that the banner has produced films like Neerja and Tumhari Sulu, renowned for their female protagonists which have been beacons for women empowerment.
"While we support the #MeToo movement in India, we urge for people to be wary of unsubstantiated allegations, particularly anonymous ones, which could be mischievously made with ulterior motives. We also hope that these do not dilute the credibility of the ongoing movement.
Rahul Raj Singh Accuses Mushtaq Shiekh Sexually Harassing Him
Actor Rahul Raj Singh has accused screenwriter and producer Mushtaq Shiekh of sexual harassment, according to a report in Mid-day. He also said that Sheikh destroyed his career in the industry.
Rahul Raj was late Pratyusha Banerjee’s boyfriend. He was charged with abetting suicide of the Balika Vadhu actor and is out on bail at present.
“One night, he called me at 11 pm near his house… He took me to his house, which had a single room, a bed and a lot of film posters. He told me, ‘I am going to do something to you which you are going to enjoy. It will be different, but you will like it’. I got scared,” Rahul says he lost a film offer with Mukta Arts after refusing his advances.
Read more on The Quint
Mukhesh Chhabra Supended as Director of 'Kizzie Aur Manny', Responds
Fox Star Studios on Friday suspended Mukesh Chhabra, Bollywood's popular casting agent, from his directorial debut Kizzie Aur Manny as he has been accused of sexual harassment.
"As a responsible organisation, Star India takes any allegation of sexual harassment of women at workplace very seriously. Hence, Fox Star Studios has suspended the services of Mukesh Chhabra, director of our film Kizzie Aur Manny, which is under production, till the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of M/s Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company concludes its inquiry into the allegations against him," said a post on the official Fox Star Hindi Twitter handle.
Mukesh has shared a response on Twitter, saying “The matter is now under the perview of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).”
‘Stop Engaging’: Mahesh Bhupathi Urges to Alienate ‘Serial Predators’
In the light of the MeToo movement and women standing up against their sexual offenders in the past weeks, Tennis star Mahesh Bhupati, who is married to actress Lara Dutta, has urged people to stop engaging with those who have been called out by people.
In a Twitter post, Bhupati expressed how disturbing it has been to see all the stories coming out and how his immediate reaction was "It's about time". He said he has a simple appeal, "Stop engaging. Alienate these "serial predators."”
The Tennis star said, it is time to show those accused that "while the law and investigative agencies will take their course, society should – and will – reject them."
He shared that wife Lara Dutta had recently declined a project through Mukesh Chhabra’s company. He also noted that he has engaged with Suhel Seth, Chetan Bhagat, Anirban Blah, Sajid Khan and Anu Malik in the past but will stop doing so in the future.
KWAN Founder Anirban Blah Rescued From Alleged Suicide Attempt
Anirban Das Blah, co-founder of KWAN Entertainment, was rescued by traffic police after they found him on Vashi old bridge, where he allegedly attempted to take his life early Friday morning. Anirban was recently asked to step down from his role in the firm after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.
"We had information about an individual coming towards Vashi bridge to commit suicide. We couldn't take chance and we laid a trap there in dark," senior traffic police inspector Gaekwad told The Hindu. They found Anirban on the barricades of the bridge and forced him to get down.
He was crying. He seemed very frustrated and depressed. We took him to the police chowky, offered him water and asked his problem to which he said that he was frustrated with the #Metoo allegations on him. He was depressed due to the defamation he and his family faced. He along with nine other partners had founded KWAN and after four girls alleged him of harrasment in #Metoo campaign, he was asked to resign,Traffic Police Inspector Gaekwad
"The traffic police handed him to us but we haven't charged him as he has not done any (suicidal) act. He told us that he had come for a walk at the bridge. After his family reached, we handed him over to them," senior police inspector Anil Deshmukh from Vashi police station added.
'Sacred Games' Actor Accuses Vipul Shah Of Sexual Misconduct
Sacred Games actor Elnaaz Norouzi has accused Namaste England director Vipul Shah of sexual harassment. She wrote a long post in Mid-day about her traumatic experiences where Vipul tried to get too close for comfort.
“I met him again in his office, and again he mentioned, “We will sign the papers over the next couple of days.” This time, when we were saying bye, he came on to me. It was too close for comfort. I didn’t get the right vibe. He gave a peck on my face. I didn’t expect it,” said Elnaaz.
She says he would try to kiss her every time she met him in his office and also touched her inappropriately in a hotel. “The next time we met at his office, he tried to kiss me. I backed off, said, ‘What are you doing? We are in your office!’ I pushed him away, being affirmative; but careful enough not to come across as rude, because I really wanted the film,” she said to Mid-day.
Sushant Singh Rajput Issues Clarification Post Sexual Harassment Allegations
Sanjana Sanghi, who marks her debut in Mukesh Chabbra’s Kizie Aur Manny had reportedly accused her co-star, Sushant Singh Rajput of sexual harassment in July. According to reports, Sanjana even spoke to director Chabbra, who simply “laughed off the matter”. The report also stated that Sanjana’s parents came on set to speak to the director who reportedly asked said to “keep a strong gut if their daughter was expecting to have a long run in showbiz”.
After these allegations, many are speculating that Sushant Singh Rajput’s verification badge appears to be have been revoked by Twitter. The actor also took to social media to clarify with screenshots denying making Sanjana feel uncomfortable. And also stated that his verification has been missing since 5 September.
Casting director Mukesh Chhabra has also been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. A survivor recounted an account to Mid-day, “He asked me to enact a scene which had the hero and the heroine hugging each other. Under the pretext of showing me how the scene should be performed, he grabbed me hard and felt me up. I could feel his hand on my butt. I was shell-shocked and immediately withdrew. He realised [my trepidation] and started vehemently apologising. At one point, he said, I thought you were fine with it because other girls are.”
Read more on The Quint
Renuka Shahane Shares Her #MeToo Story
Renuka Shahane says there are still uncountable, unknown stories of women who have faced sexual harassment and abuse that are waiting to be heard.
“I don’t think there’s a single woman who does not have a #MeToo story. My story does not involve anyone famous. It happened a long time ago but it impacted me for the longest time. It has coloured how I view things. I have spent my entire life travelling in local trains and buses. You are constantly aware that you will get pinched, your breast will be pressed and so on. It doesn’t matter if you’re underage, married or pregnant. It’s a never-ending list,” Shahane told PTI in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.
Raveena Tandon On #MeToo Gaining Momentum
In an interview with Pinkvilla, Raveena Tandon opened up about the survirors speaking out and having their voices heard. “Der Aaye, Durust Aaye...Never too late for this to happen. In fact, India had the opportunity to have their Me Too movement many, many years ago before it started in Hollywood or in America because our women have been speaking out ever since.”
She also said that, although she has faced professional harassment in her life, she's been fortunate that she's never been sexually harassed. “Yes, there is a difference between sexual harassment and being flirted with or someone making a pass at you. I hope people learn to differentiate between that. Yes, I have been made passes at and I have been wooed and flirted with. I think that is normal and that is not only in my industry.”
Raveena added, “That is a normal thing to happen, but sexual harassment hasn't happened with me. I think everyone knew that I was the kind of who would name and shame someone right away and No one really mess with me. Yes, I can say that certain amount of professional harassment has happened with me and I have been speaking about it ever since.”
Nana Patekar Sends Detailed Response to CINTAA
Nana Patekar responded to a complaint filed by Tanushree Dutta with the Cine and Television Artistes’ Association (CINTAA), calling her claims false and baseless.
“Nana Patekar has sent a detailed response to CINTAA over the notice they sent him based on complaint by Tanushree Dutta. In his response he stated allegations levelled against him are baseless&false, also stated that he is in process of adopting legal mesaures against Tanushree,” reported ANI.
Don't Mock #MeToo Movement: Honey Irani
Veteran writer Honey Irani, maternal aunt of director Sajid Khan who has been accused of sexual harassment, says it's important not to "mock" the #MeToo movement.
"It's sad that now that women are talking, most people don't listen, and ask why did you not speak up then? Well this is exactly why, when you can't deal with it now, imagine how could you 10 or 15 years back. If you can't support this movement fine, but please don't mock it,” she tweeted.
Khan has been named by multiple women for sexual misconduct. The actor-director stepped down as Housefull 4 director in the wake of these allegations.
#MeToo Being Blown out of Proportion: Shatrughan Sinha
Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha says while the MeToo movement is noble, it is becoming "free-for-all" and being blown out of proportion.
Asked about accusations against Subhash Ghai, he said, “What happened to innocent until proven guilty? I am all for the MeToo movement, never in my 40-year career have I misbehaved with any woman. I treat every lady with utmost respect. Having said that, I think this #MeToo campaign is being blown out of all proportion”.
He also spoke about “trial by media”.
While the cause was definitely noble and praiseworthy, it has now become a free-for-all. Anyone can name and shame anyone. Reputations and jobs are being lost through a trial by media. To all the women who are aggrieved I say, please go to court and make sure the wrongdoers are punished.
He also pointed out the “hypocrisy” of many who’re willing to work with convicted top stars and directors and not the alleged sexual offenders.
This hypocrisy I can’t understand. They have no problem working with Sanjay Dutt who has been convicted. But they want to blacklist people whose guilt is yet to be proven. Just to look like heroes of the MeToo movement.
(With inputs from IANS)
Worried About 'Trial By Twitter': Farah Khan on #MeToo Storm
Farah Khan is afraid of ‘trial by Twitter’, where India’s #MeToo storm gained momentum. Many prominent celebrities have been named by the survivors, including Farah’s brother, Sajid Khan.
Farah, at a book launch in Mumbai, spoke about the “psychosis”.
“I have fear psychosis for anybody, whether it’s a woman or whether it is for a man who is talking to a girl... getting scared if should I be talking to a girl. Also, the only thing I fear is the quick judgements and the quick punishments that are met out, trial by Twitter, which is happening in hours,” she said.
Even in Hollywood, they take their time, they do their research, they do an investigation. They interview friends and families. Whether it is 20 years ago, whether it is 10 years ago, it doesn’t matter. So that is a bit scary and it is scary for everybody.Farah Khan
Anu Malik Responds To Sexual Harassment Allegations
Singer Sona Mohapatra has accused Kailash Kher as well as music director Anu Malik of behaving inappropriately with her. When asked to respond to the allegations, Malik told PTI, “No comments. This is ridiculous. I don’t want to talk about it. Today anyone says anything.”
Malik’s lawyer also denied the allegations in a statement to IANS. "The allegations made against my client are emphatically denied as completely false and baseless. My client respects the #MeToo movement but to use this movement to start a character assassination mission is obnoxious," Malik's lawyer Zulfiquar Memon told IANS.
Read the full story on The Quint
Women Shouldn't be Judged on #MeToo stories: Soni Razdan
Veteran actor Soni Razdan, also the mother of Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt, says while the #MeToo movement is a positive change against sexual harassment, women who don't speak up should not be judged for their silence.
Soni told IANS here: “Living in a patriarchal society I know that such thing is horrifying for any girl and that is why the movement is a positive sign, where people are coming up with their stories. It is easy to say that if such harassment happens, walk out of your job. But people depend on that job, it is about their livelihood, a question of survival. So while we must encourage victims for coming up with their #MeToo stories, we should not judge women for not sharing their stories.”
Mumbai Court Objects to Alok Nath's Absence From the Hearing
While hearing Alok Nath's defamation suit, the court reportedly asked the lawyers representing the Tara actor to amend the suit that had technical errors. The Times of India reports that the court asked Nath to be present in the next hearing on 25 October and objected to his absence.
I Don't Think Nana Patekar Can Do Such a Thing: Raj Thackeray
"I know Nana Patekar. He is indecent. He does crazy things but I don't think he can do such a thing. Court will look into it. What is the media to do with it? #MeToo is a serious matter, the debate over it on Twitter isn't right," the MNS chief Raj Thackeray said at an event in Amravati, according to ANI.
"It seems it is being done to divert attention from petrol price, rupee value, and unemployment. If anything like #MeToo happens, women can come to MNS. We will teach a lesson to accused. Women must raise the voice when they face oppression, not after 10 years," he added.
Vikas Bahl Files Defamation Suit Against Kashyap, Motwane
Filmmaker Vikas Bahl has moved the Bombay High Court with a Rs 10 crore defamation suit against his former Phantom Films partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane amid the #MeToo furore.
IANS reports that Bahl, in a suit filed on Tuesday, sought direction from the court to restrain the two from making any statement about him to the media or via social media.
The court on Wednesday posted the matter to Friday so that the alleged victim's side of the story can also be heard in the court's chambers, Bahl's advocate Hitesh Jain told IANS. Bahl has said the defendants are "taking advantage of the ongoing #MeToo movement in the country". The company's dissolution was announced earlier this month.
I Fully Support #MeToo Campaign: Radhika Apte
Radhika Apte expressed her full support to the sexual harassment survivors, who are calling out their alleged tormentors under the #MeToo campaign.
While interacting with the media at the launch of new collection of Daniel Wellington watches as their brand ambassador, Radhika on Wednesday hoped that the film industry would come up with an "equal and genderless" system to tackle any kind of harassment cases.
Radhika has been associated with Kwan Entertainment -- one of the biggest celebrity management agencies in India -- whose founder has been sacked after four aspiring actresses anonymously accused him of seeking sexual favours.
Asked whether she will disassociate herself with the celebrity management agency, Radhika told IANS : "I am completely and closely in contact with them. The people who are associated with Kwan have helped me and I have a great relationship with them. They are taking all required action as we all support the (#MeToo) movement."
On M.J. Akbar's resignation as Minister of State for External Affairs in the wake of the raging campaign, Radhika said: "There are so many people involved and there are more things which will come out. So, we can't comment on every individual case at this stage."
KWAN Founder Anirban Blah Resigns After #MeToo Allegations
Following allegations of sexual misconduct, Anirban Das Blah, founder of talent management company KWAN, has stepped down from his post.
The company has issued a statement saying Blah has resigned from all his responsibilities and designations at KWAN. It also reads that 10 partners have taken over his entire stake in the company to ensure his exit.
Singer Shweta Pandit Accuses Anu Malik of Sexual Harassment When She Was 15
Singer Shweta Pandit has shared a Twitter post accusing composer Anu Malik of misbehaving with her when she was only 15 years old. Shweta is the second person after singer Sona Mahapatra to accuse Anu of sexual misconduct. Shweta alleges that Anu asked her for a kiss in exchange of signing her up for a song. She notes that he did this despite knowing Shweta’s father and family well. She says that the incident lead her to depression and she almost quit the industry.
Vinta Nanda to File Complaint Against Alok Nath
Producer Vinta Nanda reaches Oshiwara Police Station to file a complaint against actor Alok Nath. Vinta has accused Alok of raping her almost 19 years ago.
On Tuesday, Vinta penned an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in the #MeToo movement.
"We are living in times when our law shelters perpetrators and oppresses victims who're not equipped with the arms to fight, where humiliation defies and scores over empathy. We're living in an environment in which morality is defined by the rich and powerful," she wrote in a post on Facebook.
We've to Ensure There's No Abuse of Power in Bollywood: Saif Ali Khan
The irony in Bollywood is loud and clear. While films with women in strong and powerful portrayals are gaining success at the box office, a slew of women in the industry are coming up with accounts of facing sexual harassment in the industry. Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan says fraternity members should make sure that the place is safe for women to work.
Some ridiculous and inhuman things have happened in the past few years and I know that new talents might fear to step into the industry after knowing those stories of victims. But as member of the fraternity, we have to make sure that women are treated with the utmost dignity and there is no abuse of power.Saif Ali Khan to IANS
#MeToo: Producers Guild of India Amps up Efforts to Tackle Cases
Within a week of setting up a special committee on sexual harassment, the Producers Guild of India has made it mandatory for all members to sign a declaration affirming that laws around sexual harassment of women at workplace are instituted and implemented.
Last week, the Producers Guild appointed a new committee, with producer Sneha Rajani as its head, to address the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace within the film industry.
It called for an extraordinary general meeting to amend its by-laws, as a result of which it has been made compulsory for all existing and new members to sign a declaration that affirms that 'The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013' and any amendment/successor act thereof has been instituted and implemented in their workplaces, as prescribed by the law.
"This is to be signed and submitted by every Guild member within 30 days of receipt of the declaration from the Guild. Within these 30 days, the Guild will schedule a series of workshops to be conducted by specialized external agencies, which will enable its members to institute and implement these robust processes at their workplaces, if they have not already done so.
"Failure to submit the declaration to the Guild by the end of 30 days from its receipt, would result in expulsion from the Guild," a statement said.
Anirban Blah Dropped From Deepika Padukone's Live Love Laugh Foundation
After Anirban Das Blah, the founder of Kwan Entertainment, one of the leading talent management companies in the country was named in India’s #MeToo movement, Deepika Padukones’s aforesaid organisation took to Twitter to announce his ouster. He earlier held the position of the Trustee of the foundation.
Diandra Soares Accuses Suhel Seth of Sexual Misconduct
An Indian model, TV host and fashion designer joins the multiple voices accusing Suhel Seth of varying levels of sexual misconduct and assault. In a social media post, she narrates her experience at the after-party of a bridal fashion show, a few years ago in Delhi where Seth forced his tongue down her throat.
The reason I finally decided to speak out is because when I read the #metoo stories my heart bleeds for what we women go through. And because nobody has called out this behaviour at various events & parties & even public events on stage ..... because of the SILENCE these predators have had more & more power & courage to continue this appalling , vile , animalistic behaviour. I speak up in solidarity to my fellow women who have so bravely come out and spoken about Suhel Seth .I’m in hope that speaking up can set an example & a new course to bring about change & a better chance for other younger women & our future for young girls to NOT have to go through this with a predator roaming openly & free amongst us all, Soares said in her post.
Writer Supriya Prasad Summoned by SWA for Allegations Against Ajit Thakur
Supriya Prasad, a writer from Film and Television Institute of India has accused Ajit Thakur, the Content Studio Head at Reliance. In a letter Supriya has mentioned how Ajit Thakur called her for a job interview and forced her to have alcohol and snort cocaine, while also subjecting her to inappropriate questions about her sex life.
She also went on to say that she rejected the offer letter that was sent to her later.
Pinkvilla reports that the SWA Committee (Screenwriters Association) has now summoned the writer to hear her account and initiate action.
Women Should Take Legal Route, Name and Shame Culprits: Gautam Rode
Actor Gautam Rode has come forward in support of sexual harassment survivors, saying they should take legal action against the culprits apart from naming and shaming them in public so that no one can doubt their intentions. Gautam Rode was interacting with media at the launch of his forthcoming show Kal Bhairav season 2 on Tuesday, 16 October in Mumbai. Supporting #MeToo movement that has gained momentum in India, Gautam told IANS, "I totally support the campaign. There shouldn't be any timeline to share your stories."
"Women should come out in the open -- name and shame culprits in the media or social media but at the same time, they should take legal route so that it becomes proof and after that, no one can doubt your intentions when you raise your voice against a certain individual," he said.
"Will Continue To Support #MeToo": Nandita Das Over Allegations On Father
Actor-director Nandita Das on Tuesday, 16 October broke her silence over the sexual harassment allegations against her father, noted painter Jatin Das, stating that she will continue to lend support to the #MeToo movement.
A woman, who is the co-founder of a paper-making company, Tuesday came forward to claim that she was sexually harassed 14 years ago by Jatin Das, allegations which the painter dismissed as "vulgar".
In a Facebook post, Ms Das said despite the "disturbing" allegations against her father, she would continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the women coming forward with stories of abuse and harassment.
She also warned that women need to be "sure" about their allegations before accusing someone.
I've Full Faith in India's Judiciary: Karim Morani's Daughter
Zoa Morani, actor and daughter of producer Karim Morani who has been accused of sexual harassment by an aspiring actress, says the truth about her father will be out soon as she has faith in the country's judicial system.
An aspiring actor has accused Karim of drugging her, raping her and clicking her nude pictures in 2015. Reacting to the accusation against her father, Zoa told IANS: "I don't want to talk about that issue because the matter is sub judice. When judgement of court will be out, then everybody will know about it. All I can say is that I have full faith in the judicial system of our country and the truth will prevail for sure."
Karim is also an alleged accused in the 2G spectrum case. Last year, he was booked by Hyderabad police for the rape of a 25-year-old Delhi-based student.
I'm so Glad It's Happening Right Now: Shikha Talsania on #MeToo
Actor Shikha Talsania, who featured in Veere Di Wedding, says she is glad to see women coming out and talking about their unsavoury experiences of sexual misconduct, harassment or assault.
"I am so glad it's happening right now and reached the scale that it has. It takes a lot of courage to talk about it. I'm glad that we have space or an opportunity to talk about it... A place that is safe to talk about this. So I'm extremely glad. It has been emotionally exhausting to hear every story, but please speak your truth because the truth will set you free," she said in an interview to IANS.
Glad Akshay Put His Foot Down: Tanushree on Nana Patekar's 'Housefull 4' Exit
According to reports by India Today, actor Tanushree Dutta has expressed appreciation for the stand against sexual harassment that actors such as Akshay Kumar and Aamir Khan have taken in the wake of the allegations that have surfaced over the course of India’s #MeToo movement.
“Let’s say I am not celebrating, yet because there is so much more that needs to be done. I am glad that somebody like Akshay finally decided to put his foot down and has chosen to not work with people such as these.”Tanushree Dutta, Actor
"I am also happy that Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao and a couple of other production houses are taking a stand, but I would not want this to be a one-time thing. Right now, the situation is hot, so let's disassociate and at a later date collaborate again. So, I am just seeing where this is going before I can raise a toast,” she said.
Whether It's After 10 Years or 20 Doesn't Make a Difference: Mahesh Bhatt on #MeToo
"The #MeToo movement cannot be resolved through the court of public opinion. There are people standing up for something. I would say more power to women who scream from the rooftop about something wrong done to them—whether it is after 10 years or 20 or 50... It doesn't make a difference," said filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt in an interview to IANS.
"There is only one thing you can't use this #MeToo movement for (and that is) settling old relationship issues. You cannot categorise that,” cautioned the director
Bhatt feels it is time to ask a "deeper question".
"During Durga Puja, you bow down to the deity which was created by this great story of male gods putting their best to create her so that she can kill the demon to save the world and heaven from the wrath of that demon. It is time to understand that you support the woman and let her retain her dignity or she will perish,” he said.
"The question is, 'Do you really view women in the form of the goddess you worship in the temple?' Because in private life you violate them."
"The dichotomy is what has made a mess of things. We have an idea about ourselves and the reality is quite different from the idea. Look at what you are doing to women. There are issues which cannot be resolved themselves within a time frame of a week, a month or a year.”
"These are larger issues. The soul of the country is decaying. We are far away from what we claim to be. And cases like this only put spotlight on that," Bhatt added.
Alok Nath Rejects IFTDA Notice; Association to Take "Strong Stand"
Actor Alok Nath has refused to respond to a notice issued to him by the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) regarding writer-director Vinta Nanda's claim that he sexually violated her 19 years ago. IFTDA has now decided to take strong action against the actor.
IFTDA had sent a notice to Alok on 10 October based on a complaint by Nanda.
In response, Alok's advocate Ashok Sarogi has told IFTDA that there is "no complaint at all made with any of the police authorities nor filed with any of the legal authorities" and that the notice has been served on the basis of "interviews and some complaints on social media".
IFTDA President Ashoke Pandit told IANS on Tuesday: "We are calling a meeting to find a way... We will follow whatever is permissible under the law of our association, to protect our members.
"Yes, she (Vinta) did not complaint to the police, but she did complain to us. So we will take a strong stand."
Kwan Asks Anirban Blah To Step Down After Being Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Anirban Das Blah, the founder of Kwan Entertainment, has been asked to step aside from his duties, activities and responsibilities after sexual harassment allegations against the talent manager emerged. Kwan released a statement to support the #MeToo movement and gave details about the PoSH committee the company has set up.
Former clients and aspirants have come out with allegations against Anirban, one of the most renowned celebrity management companies. Four survivors spoke to Mid Day about their ordeals.
He told me he wanted to introduce me to a top music label boss and producer. At that time, he was scouting for a fresh face for the sequel of a popular franchise. A few days later, he called me over to Taj Lands End for a meeting. When I reached the coffee shop, he gave me the number of his suite, stating that casting is done in bedrooms and not in public spaces. I blocked his number since then and am happy struggling for work every daySurvivor tells Mid-day
Another actor accused him of asking her if she would be willing ‘to be part of an unnatural sex set-up’. “He told me I have small breasts, and hence, won't have a long run in the Indian market," recounted another survivor. While another model says that she was asked to strip down.
Was Not Sexually Harassed by Reema Kagti: Mouni Roy Clarifies
A Twitter user claimed filmmaker Reema Kagti sexually harassed actor Mouni Roy on the sets of Akshay Kumar’s Gold. Mouni took to Twitter to clarify about the false allegations.
I was not harassed on the set of Gold by anyone. Director or otherwise. I wish this maligning would stop as it not only harassing me and Reema Kagti but also taking away from women that have truly been wronged.Mouni Roy, Actor
Abused at the Age of 5 and Rape at 14: Somy Ali Shares Her Traumatic Ordeal
Pakistani actor, Somy Ali has shared her traumatic ordeal on Instagram. Somy, who worked in Bollywood films in the 90s and dated Salman Khan, opened up about being sexually abused at the age of 5.
As a survivor of sexual abuse at the age of 5 and rape at 14, I would like to salute all those that have spoken up and plan on doing so. I know it is very difficult to do it because I have been there and it took me many years to be able to talk about it.Somy Ali
"I want these survivors to know it is truly liberating and completely worth it. Do not let the nonbelievers stop you. This is your truth. Do not ever be afraid to speak your truth. Do not let this opportunity pass you. This is a moment that has been long overdue for all of us. This is your chance to be heard and finally obtain justice. I believe you," added Somy.
Somy had first spoken about her sexual harassment in 2015 in her autobiography.
Saqib Saleem Shares His #MeToo Story
In an interview with Hindustan Times, the Race 3 actor revealed his traumatic #MeToo chronicle. “I don’t want to take names, but when I started out as an actor - I was only 21 years old - there was a man who tried to assault me. He tried to put his hand in my pants...When it happened with me, I whacked the guy and I told him to mind his own f***ing business and I left. I was 21, and of course, it scarred me, but I moved on,” he said.
Revolutions, Inevitably, Have Some Collateral Damage Too: Varun Grover
On 9 October, Varun Grover has released a detailed statement denying the allegations against him. He has claimed that they are a defamatory tactic to silence his voice and hamper the #MeToo movement. Grover took to Twitter earlier to insist that the screenshot in question is “untrue, misleading, and defamatory to say the least”.
“Seeking closure”, the comedian and writer wrote, ‘Revolutions are beautiful. They are cathartic, powerful, necessary, and like #metoo — inevitable. And revolutions, inevitably, have some collateral damage too.Last week has been a whirlwind of sorts in my life. Amidst the distress and confusion, I have discovered the kind solidarity of many strangers. I was at the receiving end of an anonymous allegation that I know and can prove to be false. In the macro perspective, the wave is bigger and way more important than my isolated small case. Centuries of patriarchy and oppression have created a system that cannot be taken down through polite means.However, at the same time, my isolated small case does mean the world to me, my family and friends. It affects not just my mental health and professional life but my ability to take a social stand on every injustice I want to speak about.And therefore, I feel this earnest need to present my side even though no formal complaint has been filed against me. This closure is needed to maintain my own sanity.’
YRF Terminates Ashish Patil's Contract After Sexual Harassment Allegations Emerge
Yash Raj Films has terminated the services of accused Ashish Patil, who was Vice President of Y-Films with immediate effect, as per a statement released on their official Twitter handle. YRF had earlier released a statement assuring the survivor that the strictest action will be taken “against the alleged perpetrator, if the allegations of sexual harassment are found to be true”.
A survivor shared a chilling account of alleged sexual exploitation at the hands of the Talent and Business Head at Yash Raj Films, Ashish Patil. She described an ordeal where Patil approached her for a role and allegedly “tried his moves and eventually got his way”. The screenshots of her anonymous account were shared by a Twitter user.
Read more here
IFTDA Issues Notice to Sajid Khan
“Your lewd and obscene actions have brought disrepute to the IFTDA.” The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association also requires him to clarify his stance within seven days. If he fails to respond, an ex-parte decision will be taken, reports Mumbai Mirror.
TV Actor Krystle D'Souza Comes Out in Support of the #MeToo Movement
"I think it is high time that women stand up for themselves and say things as it is because that is also important. The MeToo movement is great when it is all facts and truth. I think every case needs to be looked into and investigated, to know who is saying the truth and who is lying because people might misuse it as well. Once evidence is found, these men who have been harassing these women need to be punished and this should not be overlooked. This is serious, I am totally in support of all of it who are speaking up," Krystle, the Belan Wali Bahu actor told Pinkvilla.
Singer Sona Mohapatra Asks PM Modi To Stand Up for Women
You haven’t won an election to start with to be where you are Mr Akbar. Dear PM of India you have to sack this serial offender and as soon as possible. So many women telling their story of sexual harassment have nothing to gain from this. 50 per cent of your electorate is us. Listen to us, she wrote further.
Singer Sona Mohapatra urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stand up for the "50 percent of his electorate" (women) amidst the raging #MeToo movement in the country. Mohapatra tweeted an article regarding Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar, who has been accused of sexual misconduct.
Nobody Could Mess With Me, Get Away With It: Lata Mangeshkar
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar believes every woman must be given the dignity she deserves. In the midst of the #MeToo wave in India, she says nobody could mess around with her and get away with it.
“I truly believe a working woman must be given the dignity, respect and space she deserves. If anyone denies her that space, he must be taught a lesson,” she said
Agree That He Was Obnoxious: Dia Mirza Weighs in on Sajid Khan
While speaking to India Today, Dia Mirza has expressed shock and dismay over the allegations against director Sajid Khan, with whom she worked in Heyy Babyy. However, she also admitted that she always knew that Sajid was obnoxious and sexist.
I was deeply disturbed. I agree that Sajid was obnoxious, extremely sexist and ridiculous. Even for me, the details of these accounts are beyond shocking. I have personally always have had a radar for such people. I have never invested in a relationship with such people even in the workplace.Dia Mirza
Sham Kaushal Apologises For Sexual Misconduct
After action director Sham Kaushal was accused of sexual misconduct, he took to Twitter to apologise to all those people he has “unintentionally hurt”.
“Ever since I have been working in this industry I have tried my best to be a good human being personally and professionally, never wishing to hurt or disrespect anyone. I have read the allegations made against me by some crew members. If I have unintentionally caused any hurt or anguish, I unconditionally apologise to the ladies, to the production houses and each and every member of the film fraternity,” he wrote on Twitter.
Nameeta Prakash, who worked as an assistant director on films like Manorama Six Feet Under, Ab Tak Chhappan and Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., has accused the stunt director Sham Kaushal of inviting her in his room during an outdoor shoot and showing her an MMS clip on his mobile phone.
Alok Nath Files Civil Defamation Suit Against Vinta Nanda
According to ANI, Alok Nath has filed a civil defamation suit against writer producer Vinta Nanda seeking a written apology and Re 1 as compensation. Nanda has accused Alok Nath of raping her 19 years ago.
Shibani Dandekar Defends Farhan Akhtar Amid Sajid Khan's Harassment Allegations
Amrita Puri took to Twitter to address the allegations made against director of Housefull, Sajid Khan. “It was fairly well known that Sajid Khan is a creep and is completely inappropriate as far as his conduct with women goes. I was warned to stay away from him if I ever came across him. I refuse to believe that it has come as a surprise to people from the industry or his family,” she wrote.
Farhan, who has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement gave her a sharp retort.
I deeply resent your insinuation that me or my family knew of his behaviour yet did nothing. Your anger is justified. Your conspiracy theories not.Farhan Akhtar
Shibani Dandekar also defended Farhan after people on Twitter attacked him for Sajid Khan’s alleged misconduct. “So does that mean I support the behaviour of the culprit? Absolutely not .. it is horrific! Don’t paint everyone with the same brush is what i’m saying. Leave the innocent and focus on the guilty. He can’t be held accountable for something he didn’t do or know of. We need to focus on the girls and stop with the blame,” replied Shibani on Twitter to a user.
Defamation Suits Won't Intimidate Vinta Nanda: Lawyer
Writer-producer Vinta Nanda will remain undaunted in her fight against the sexual violation she faced 19 years ago even if defamation suits come her way, her lawyer said on Monday, a day after actor Alok Nath's wife Ashu Singh reportedly moved a court seeking a police probe into the Tara writer's accusation.
Nanda has accused Alok of rape.
DhruTi M Kapadia, Nanda's advocate, in a statement said they are going to fight out the matter legally, and said the "defamation proceedings are not served upon us as yet".
"However and whatever the proceedings will be, we will deal with everything following due process of law," Kapadia added.
(With inputs from IANS)
Tahira Kashyap Shares Her #MeToo Moment
Ayushmann Khurana’s wife, Tahira Kashyap took to Instagram to talk about the #MeToo movement and how she shared her ordeal with the family rather than on social media.
Accused Ashish Patil Sent on 'Administrative Leave' by Yash Raj Films
An anonymous account named Ashish Patil, the Business Head of Y-Films in the #MeToo movement.
The YRF spokesperson told Times Now, “Ashish Patil has been asked to proceed on administrative leave till YRF thoroughly investigates the allegations levelled on him. YRF has earnestly requested the survivor to kindly step forward and share her account of the incidents to the Presiding Officer of our Internal Complaints Committee who would maintain utmost confidentiality. We seek her kind cooperation in the investigation so that we can appropriately address this issue. We are more than willing to extend our full support and cooperation to address this serious allegation. YRF has zero tolerance towards any form of sexual exploitation or harassment of women and we shall take the strictest necessary action against the alleged perpetrator, if the allegations of sexual harassment are found to be true.”
Never Miss Out
Stay tuned with our weekly recap of what’s hot & cool by The Quint.