Big Names From Film And Music Industry Called Out In #MeToo Movement
India’s MeToo movement has started ever since actress Tanushree Dutta called out Nana Patekar for alleged sexual misconduct and abuse. Since then, there have been many more revelations of sexual harassment and misconduct at the hands of prominent figures in Bollywood, media and comedy circles. Here are some of the allegations that have surfaced against Bollywood celebrities in the last two weeks.
After veteran T.V. producer and writer Vinta Nanda had accused actor Alok Nath of raping her, actress Sandhya Mridul also alleged that Nath had harassed her. She had posted her experience on Twitter stating that he had sexually harassed her at the beginning of her career. She said, “In truth & solidarity. I’m with you Vinta Nanda #metoo.” Sandhya acknowledges that back in the day there were no safe spaces to come out and share such incidences, which made her stay silent for a long time. Later, actress Deepika Amin, who had worked with Nath on the film Hum Saath Saath Hain, had also accused him of harassment.
‘Phantom Films’ — a joint venture of directors Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane and producer Madhu Mantena— has been dissolved after a former employee of Phantom outed Bahl for sexually harassing and abusing her. ‘Queen’ actress Nayani Dixit disclosed Bahl’s alleged inappropriate behaviour, saying that on one occasion he had told her to share a room with him and even held her hand without her permission. Actress Kangana Ranaut, supporting the allegations against Bahl, has confirmed the incidents of sexual misconduct on the sets of the movie ‘Queen’.
The critically acclaimed actor and director Rajat Kapoor apologised on Twitter after a journalist shared her account of sexual harassment by Kapoor on the social media website. Keeping her identity anonymous, the woman revealed that she had contacted Kapoor through Facebook after meeting him at his theatre play. She says the harassment began soon after when Kapoor started texting her inappropriately calling her ‘his little bitch’.
In another allegation against the actor, a woman stated that Kapoor used to call her “incessantly” from his friend’s phone. However, in his apology, Kapoor has said that “he is sorry for hurting another human being.” He confessed that throughout his life, he has tried to be a good human being and now he will work harder.
Singer Chinmayi Sripada shared her account when lyricist Vairamuthu made her feel uncomfortable on two occasions. She alleged that Vairamuthu had even told her that she wouldn’t have any career in the industry if she does not “cooperate”. Later, many women, along with Sripada, have accused Vairamuthu of sexual misconduct. Director CS Amudhan and actor Siddharth have come out in support of Sripada.
Sripada also shared an account of an aspiring singer who has accused Raghu Dixit of sexually harassing her on several occasions. In response, Dixit had apologised for his misconduct on Twitter and he is even ready to personally apologise the singer.
After a foreign journalist accused singer Kailash Kher of harassing her during an interview, singer Sona Mohapatra confirmed Kher’s ‘sick behaviour’, calling him a ‘serial predator’. In a series of tweets, Mohapatra also alleged that Kher made inappropriate sexual advances towards her. Mohapatra, in an Instagram post, has also mentioned Anu Malik’s name as another harasser in the industry.
An airport flight attendant had accused singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya for harassing her in a Kolkata pub 20 years ago. Bhattacharya, while talking to The Indian Express, said “Most of the people who are coming out right now are dirty, ugly people…No one deserves (the attention). Just to grab some attention they are coming out. ”
Writer Varun Grover who has written the famous Netflix series Sacred Games has been accused of harassing a girl during a play in the year 2001 from an anonymous Twitter account. The writer soon released a statement dismissing of any kind of such behaviour.
Mahima Kukreja, one of the main contributors of India’s much-needed Metoo movement, is helping the women share their stories. She recently shared an incident where one of Bollywood’s leading director and producer Subhash Ghai had allegedly drugged and raped an aspiring woman director. Ghai had allegedly taken her under his assistance and assured to guide her. He used to allegedly behave inappropriately with her and then one day, he spiked her drink, took her to Fariyas Hotel in Mumbai and raped her.
Director Subhash Kapoor was accused by actress Geetika Tyagi of molestation in 2014. Tyagi had tweeted to Jio MAMI film festival where Kiran Rao was the chairperson, asking if Rao was aware of the fact that her husband is working with someone who is accused of molestation and sexual assault. Following this, Aamir Khan stepped out as the producer from Kapoor’s upcoming film, ‘Mogul’.
A Bollywood freelance journalist shared her experience of sexual misconduct by Sajid Khan and model and actress Saloni Chopra also shared her tale of continuous harassment and sexual misconduct by the hands of Khan when she was working with him as an assistant director in her blog post. Chopra alleged that Khan used to pass lewd comments at her and she was subjected to mental, emotional abuse while she was working with him. However, she said, she had had enough of his tactics when he tried to put her hand on his private parts. Till now, three women have accused Khan of sexual harassment.
Chopra also accused actor Zain Durrani of sexual misconduct in her blog post. In her year-long relationship with Durrani, Chopra said he used to physically assault her. Onir, the director of Durrani’s debut movie ‘Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz’, came in support of Chopra and expressed his anger over his misconduct in his tweet.
Casting director Tess Joseph in a tweet called out Malayalam film actor and politician M Mukesh for his inappropriate conduct while working on a quiz T.V show, which Mukesh was hosting. Joseph said that because of Mukesh’s misconduct, she had to leave the show. She also accused Le Meridian, Chennai, of aiding the harasser during the whole situation when she was staying there.
Action after reaction
The #Metoo movement has gained support from various actors and media agencies; celebs have openly supported the victims of sexual harassment and misconduct.
After the allegations against Alok Nath, The Indian Film and Television Director’s Association (IFTDA) has issued a notice to Nath in the wake of justice to the victims. The Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) have dropped All India Bhakchod (AIB) as well as Rajat Kapoor’s films from their festival. They have recently issued a statement declaring that they will not be screening AIB’s ‘Chintu ka Birthday’and Rajat Kapoor’s ‘Kadakh’.