Anu Malik Back on ‘Indian Idol’ Despite #MeToo Allegations?
Veteran music composer Anu Malik will reportedly be reinstated as a judge on reality TV show Indian Idol. According to SpotboyE, sources close to the show have claimed that the singer is in talks with Sony and may appear on season 11.
Malik stepped down from Indian Idol in October last year following allegations of sexual harassment. Sony Entertainment Television put out a statement saying: “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 [Dadlani] and Neha [Kakkar] to judge extraordinary talent of Indian Idol season 10." He was eventually replaced by playback singer Javed Ali.
Anu Malik was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including singers Sona Mohapatra and Shweta Pandit, during the #MeToo wave that hit Bollywood last year. Sona named Malik a serial harasser in an Instagram post without referring to a particular incident.
She later called him out on Twitter alleging that he had also harassed singer Suman Sridhar.
Shweta Pandit detailed an incident where Anu Malik promised to include her in a song for Awara Paagal Deewana with Sunidhi Chauhan and Shaan saying, “But first give me a kiss now.” The singer was 15 years old at the time.
‘Made in India’ singer Alisha Chinai also voiced her support for the women who have accused music composer Anu Malik of sexual harassment. She was quoted by The Asian Age as 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 ’90s. A restraining order was passed against him, while he sued Chinai for defamation. The two later appeared as judges on season 3 of reality show Indian Idol.
Malik has denied all allegations. His lawyer Zulfiquar Memon told IANS in a statement, “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.”
(With inputs from SpotboyE)