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…
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.
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.
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.
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 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”
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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