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International Women’s Day! Alok Nath, Nana Patekar, Rajkumar Hirani: 6 #MeToo scandals exposed by leading ladies

On International Women’s Day, we take a look at celebrities who were taken down by strong fearless women including the likes of Sajid Khan, Nana Patekar, Rajkumar Hirani and more

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Today (March 8) we celebrate International Women’s Day. And as we celebrate and embrace the female being in every form around us, last year has been nothing short of monumental for women’s rights and voice. Yes, the strong #MeToo movement that was trending globally, turned a nightmare for many men even here. To refresh your memory, the #MeToo movement is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault at workplaces and this was a phenomenon that was catching other countries across the globe. In Hollywood, in October 2017 the #MeToo movement brought down the most powerful man in the Hollywood – Harvey Weinstein. Post those allegations, many more stories dated back to15/20 years also surfaced causing a ripple effect with multiple women coming out with their allegation on Weinstein and others like him in the industry.

Last year, the movement hit Bollywood and took down a lot of people with them. It also opened the conversation about the unsaid propositions and inappropriate behavior by the powerful preying on the vulnerable both in Bollywood and other industries followed. This women’s day we bring you 6 famous #MeToo stories that went on to show women in a stronger avatar. Read on…

Nana Patekar

Actress Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexual misconduct on sets of Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008. Though the accusation brought Tanushree major flak, they also helped blow the lid off many such hushed up cases and had many involved running for cover. While some accused got a clean chit, many others continue to be embroiled in the movement that has not even spared Hollywood biggies. And Bollywood’s proving that it’s not just a flash in the pan here either. Several names have either stepped down or have been asked to drop out from projects.

Sajid Khan

Saloni Chopra and Rachel White opened up about how Sajid was a predator. Journalist Karishma Upadhyay also revealed her shocking story. But it was Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Bose and Simran Puri’s accounts that were the final string in the case. Ashoke Pandit took up the case with the Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) and Sajid has been suspended for a year. He even lost his director’s chair for Housefull 4. 

Rajukumar Hirani

Rajkumar Hirani seems to be reeling under the allegations of sexual misconduct that were made against him early this year. Following the complaint made against him by a female member of the technical team of Sanju, the filmmaker’s name was unceremoniously dropped from the credits as the co-producer of Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s recent release, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga. While the makers did not confirm at any point that Hirani’s ouster days before the release was due to the #MeToo allegations, they did not deny it either. But besides, losing out on the project, the allegations seem to be taking a heavier toll on Hirani.

Alok Nath

Producer Vinita Nanda came out and shocked everyone by accusing long-time friend Alok Nath of rape. Vinita Nanda took to social media and shared stories of Alok Nath’s behavior on the sets of her mega-hit show Tara. Nanda spoke about how she was sexually assaulted by the actor one night. Nanda then filed a police complaint against the actor. The Internal Complaints Committee of IFTDA (Indian Film and Television Director’s Association) sprang into action intervening in the case and reasserting POSH guidelines.

Vikas Bahl

Vikas Bahl was accused of sexual harassment last year by a former employee of his production house Phantom Films. This alleged incident happened in Goa back in 2015. Phantom house partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditiya Motwane came out in support of these allegations and went a step forward and dissolved the production house altogether. Post this actress Kangana Ranaut also alleged that Bahl used to”bury his face in her” and hold her really tight”

Subhash Kapoor

The Jolly LLB director had a case of attempted rape and molestation filed against him by actress Geetika Tyagi in April 2014. The actress had filed a complaint against Kapoor with the Versova Police station, post which he was even arrested and then let off on bail.

While these are only some of the cases listed here, this wave of #MeToo movement is far more than naming and shaming perpetrators, but for the first time giving women the power to speak about alleged abuse or harassment. On the other side, men who are preying on the weak and vulnerable now know that they need to watch themselves and that the next #MeToo scandal could be them. While we are still a long way from living in an equally balanced society, this is a huge step in the right direction.

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Aamir Khan reverses his decision; decides to work with Subhash Kapoor in Mogul

In a major development today, Aamir Khan has reversed his earlier decision to step aside from Gulshan Kumar biopic.

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Aamir Khan

In a major development today, Aamir Khan has reversed his earlier decision to step aside from Gulshan Kumar biopic. Talking on the same to a daily newspaper, Aamir has definitely set a new precedent by working with the Director and shares that his intrepid step comes from the fact that a person is innocent until proven guilty and the courts will serve the ultimate justice. Last year in October, Aamir Khan had tweeted that he would not be a part of ‘Mogul’ and this bold step of reversal is the most recent development.

Talking about why this sudden change to return to ‘Mogul’, Aamir Khan shares, “Well, Kiran and I were producing Mogul and I was acting in it. When we were doing the film we did not know that there was a case against Mr Subash Kapoor. I believe it is a five or six year old case. We are not too much in the media space, so I guess it slipped our attention. Last year, during the Me-Too movement, mention of this case came up. That’s when we got to know about it, and we were most disturbed. Kiran and I spoke about it at length. We were in a big dilemma for more than a week”.

Also read: Hindi remake of Vikram Vedha will be Aamir Khan’s next film

He further expresses, “Mr Kapoor was denying the charge. This was not a case where there was a complaint about misconduct in the workplace. Had it been such a case, it would have gone to the ICC, and the ICC would have ruled on the case in a stipulated amount of time. However, this matter was in a court of law. ICC would have ruled within 3-6 months. Courts of law are known to take longer. Kiran and I have zero tolerance for any sexual misconduct. But without an ICC ruling, or a court ruling, how are we to decide whether the accused person is guilty or not. We are in no position to do that. Who are we to believe? The person making the accusation? Or the person who has been accused? And how long will the case go on? How long are we to wait to decide? In the end, we reached the conclusion that, in this disturbed state of mind, and with so much discomfort, we will not be able to do the film. It was more of a personal decision, a decision we took for ourselves to distance ourselves from the film. So, without casting aspersions on anyone involved in the case we stepped away from the film.”

Also read: Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha to feature a major Indian political event

With letting the due course of legality to prevail even after withdrawing previously from the film, Aamir throws more light and says, “Subsequently, Mr Kapoor was removed from the film. T-series terminated his contract. Then, we heard that Mr Kapoor was also dropped from some other projects which were in the development stage, which were in the pipeline. Subsequently, we heard that whatever steps he was taking to put together a film didn’t go through, because nobody wanted to work with him.”

Taking of the effects on Subhash Kapoor’s life, the actor was quoted saying, “That really troubled us because we felt that our action had inadvertently cost a person – who is yet to be tried in a court of law – to lose his livelihood. And for how long? Is it for one year? Or ten years? We don’t know. What if he is innocent. We were very troubled. Laws of natural justice consider a person innocent until he or she is proven guilty. But until such time that the courts reach a conclusion, is it that he or she should not be allowed to work? Is he to just sit at home? Not to earn for himself?”.

“And so, we were in this troubled state for many months. I could not sleep at night because I used to constantly feel that my actions have inadvertently caused a person, about whose guilt I have absolutely idea, to lose his right to work and earn a livelihood”, Aamir expresses on how unfair it is to deny someone of professional opportunity without the verdict yet been served.

Also read: Laal Singh Chaddha: Kareena Kapoor Khan to star opposite Aamir Khan in the Forrest Gump remake

Aamir further was quoted saying on how he zeroed upon this bold step, “Earlier this year in the month of May, that’s about four months back, I got a letter from IFTDA. IFTDA is the director’s association. I think Mr Kapoor in his efforts to get work had written to his association, IFTDA.  So, they sent me a letter saying that his matter was subjudice, and that I should wait for the courts to decide on his matter. And until such time he should not lose his right to earn a living. In all fairness he has not been proven guilty. So, please don’t do something which will destroy him. He’s a member of our association. You are a member of our association. And it is very unfortunate that he’s not getting work. What is he going to do? They appealed to me to reconsider my decision. When I read that letter I felt even more guilty. Perhaps, we are doing the wrong thing.”

“And, then we decided to do one more thing to allay our discomfort. We decided to meet a lot of women who had worked with Mr. Kapoor. This was to just get an idea and verify it for ourselves, that are other women also uncomfortable with him? Has any other woman had any experience that was uncomfortable? If so, then that would make us certain that we don’t want to go into it. So we started that exercise. We met or spoke with around 10-12 women who had worked with him. Heads of Department, assistant directors, costume assistants etc”, as told by the actor who will work in ‘Mogul’ with the director.

Also read: Scoop! Aamir Khan buys a place in Himachal Pradesh and we know why!

With the right call to go further deep into the case and then come to the decision, Aamir also shares how the findings were, “What we found is that, without exception, all of them spoke very highly of him. Not only did they not feel any discomfort with him, but rather they went out of their way to praise him. They said that he looked after everyone on his set with great care. Caring, sensitive and supportive were the words used to describe him.  Mind you, both Kiran and I are fully aware that these particular women may have had a very good experience working with Mr Kapoor, but that does not mean that he could not have misbehaved with some other woman. However, I cannot deny that this interaction with women who had worked with him, did give us comfort. And so, taking everything into account, I wrote back to IFTDA saying I have reconsidered my decision, and that I would come back on to the film.”

Aamir Khan has definitely taken the courageous decision despite being a personality in the public eye to bring in a new wave. With this, Aamir is all set to play a central role in Gulshan Kumar’s biopic which will be directed by Subhash Kapoor in ‘Mogul’. Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more updates and news.

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Sacred Games Season 2: Anurag Kashyap blamed again for insulting a religion

This time it’s a few Sikhs who seem to be offended by a particular scene in Sacred Games

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Anurag Kashyap

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has been blamed again for insulting a religion. Akali Dal leader Manjinder Sirsa has alleged that ‘Anurag Kashyap has deliberately put a scene in Sacred Games 2 of Saif Ali Khan who plays a Sikh officer throwing his Kada (a sacred ornament) for Sikhs as something that is ordinary.’ Sirsa took to Twitter and wrote, “I wonder why Bollywood continues to disrespect our religious symbols! Anurag Kashyap deliberately puts this scene in Sacred Games S2 where Saif Ali Khan throws his Kada in sea! A KADA is not an ordinary ornament. It’s the pride of Sikhs & a blessing of Guru Sahib.”

Sirsa has demanded immediate removal of the scene from the show and threatened legal action against the platform. There have instances in the past when Netflix has removed scenes after objections have been taken by concerned parties. Netflix had deleted the explicit depiction of suicide of a character from the show 13 Reasons Why after medical experts expressed concerns. The platform had removed a real life disaster used in the film Bird Box.

Also read: Sacred Games, Bard of Blood: 5 book adaptations that you just can’t miss on screen

One will have to wait and watch if the scene from Sacred Games Season 2 goes out or stays. For more news and updates from the world of showbiz stay tuned to CineBlitz!

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John Abraham shows Vice President Venkaiah Naidu glimpses of his controversial film Batla House

The Vice President of India met the cast and crew of John Abraham’s Batla House and shared his encouragement on Twitter

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Batla House poster

The entire team of Batla House met Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday evening to apprise him about Batla House and show him some portions of the film.  After the meeting the Vice President wrote on Twitter, “They explained to me that the motivation for the film was to uncover the truth of the incident that took place 11 years ago in the Batla House area in Delhi. My best wishes to the entire team.”

It is being reported that John Abraham plays the police officer who was martyred in the encounter. But knowing how Bollywood functions, it is very likely that a lot of creative liberties will be taken. On the other hand, two of the accused in the case have complained in court against the film’s release. The Batla House encounter was questioned and even labelled as a fake encounter by various political parties like Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party.

In the controversial encounter two alleged terrorists from Indian Mujhahideen were killed. The Batla house encounter happened a week after five serial blasts on September 13, 2008 that killed over 30 people and left over 100 injured. According to reports, Yasin Bhatkal, the alleged chief of IM had fled Batla House before the encounter took place. For more Bollywood news and updates, stay tuned to CineBlitz.

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