It has been an intense week in the Indian movie industry as headlines have been dominated by claims of sexual harassment.
After Tanushree Dutta exposed her alleged ordeal with Nana Patekar, Bollywood has been rocked by more allegations.
Vikas Bahl, director of the National award-winning Queen with Kangana Ranaut has made the biggest news
Bahl, who was a co-founder of Phantom Films with Anurag Kashyap, Madhu Mantena and Vikram Adityamotwane has been accused of sexual misconduct against a 21-year-old employee.
A day after Phantom Films was dissolved last week, Kashyap made the startling revelation on social media shaming Bahl for the alleged misconduct that happened three years ago. Speaking to the Huffington Post, Kashyap said: “Whatever happened was wrong. We didn’t handle it well, we failed. I cannot blame anyone but myself. But now we are determined to do better. We believe her completely. She has our undying support. What Bahl has done is horrifying. We are already on our course correction and will do everything in our capacity to fix it.”
While Bahl is currently in the midst of the Hrithik Roshan starrer Super 30, the superstar actor tweeted that it would be impossible for him to work with any person who is guilty of such grave misconduct.
Roshan has also asked the producers to take a harsh stand. Also making the list of alleged sexual offenders are Rajat Kapoor, singer Kailash Kher, veteran actor Alok Nath and film-maker Sajid Khan.
AKSHAY AND AAMIR TAKE A STAND
Meanwhile two eagerly awaited Bollywood releases have been stalled since the #MeToo allegations rocked the industry. First, Aamir Khan has walked out of the Gulshan Kumar biopic Mogul, and has dissociated himself from the project after Subash Kapoor, famous for Jolly LLB, was accused of molesting a close family friend and actress Geetika Tyagi. A video of Tyagi slapping the film-maker has since gone viral.
Also making big news was the super successful comedy franchise - Houseful 4. Director Sajid Khan, who over the years has gained a reputation of being a sexual menac,e was accused by three woman of misconduct. While lead star Akshay Kumar refused to work on the comedy flick, Khan has stepped down and has been replaced by Sajid Farhad.
Also stepping away from the project was Nana Patekar. Adding fuel to Khan’s drama were Bollywood leading ladies Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta, who both claimed the film-maker was a menace and difficult to work with.
Taking to social media, Khan’s highly acclaimed film-maker sister Farah Khan expressed this was a heart-breaking time for her family. Hats off to Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar.
KANGANA HITS BACK AT SONAM
The claims of sexual harassment in Bollywood have also created a war of words between two leading ladies.
When Kangana Ranaut, who worked with Vikas Bahl in the movie Queen took a stand and shared her level of discomfort with the director, it was Sonam Kapoor, at a woman’s event, who said “I think Kangana wrote something. Kangana is obviously Kangana Ranaut”.
“She says a lot of stuff and sometimes it is hard to take her seriously. I love the fact that she has spunk and she says what she believes. I really respect her for that. I don’t know him, I don’t know the situation. If what is written is true, then it’s disgusting and awful. If it’s true, then they should be punished for it,”.
Not one to take things lying down, Kangana shot back at the Kapoor kid and said “What does she mean by saying, ‘it’s hard to believe Kangana’?
“When I am sharing my Me Too story, who gives her a right to judge me? So, Sonam Kapoor has the licence of trusting some women and some she won’t.
“What makes her so unsure of my claims?
“I am known to be an articulate person and I have represented my country in many international summits.
“I am called as a thought and youth influencer to these summits,
“I am not known because of my dad. I have earned my place and credibility after struggling for a decade.”
Kangana incidentally is riding high after positive feedback to the trailer release of her ambitious Manikarnika.
IN OTHER NEWS
According to hot rumours the sizzling couple of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are busy planning their big wedding pencilled in for November.
Bollywood insiders reveal that the couple will marry according to Indian tradition at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur.
While no official statement has been released, Chopra is currently shooting for The Sky is Pink with Farhan Akthar and Zaira Wasim.