Akshay Kumar, who is an integral part of the Housefull franchise has requested the producers of the latest installment to cancel the shoot after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against its director Sajid Khan and actor Nana Patekar.
Taking to Twitter, Kumar shared a note which read, “I’ve just landed back in the country last night and reading all the news has been very disturbing. I’ve requested the producers of Housefull 4 to cancel the shoot until further investigation. This is something that requires stringent action.”
“I will not work with any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve.”
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) October 12, 2018
According to the Hindustan Times, a source close to the production house said, “Akshay is known to be a disciplinarian and has never cancelled a shoot in his 28-year career. This is the first time that he has decided to cancel a shoot, perhaps because the #Metoo movement just cannot be ignored. The allegations made against Sajid Khan and Nana Patekar are both serious and grave in nature.”
Meanwhile, Sajid Khan has officially stepped down as the film’s director after three women accused him of sexually harassing and being inappropriate in front of them. The women have publicly shared accounts of their encounters with the filmmaker.
Taking to Twitter, Khan said, “In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of my film Houseful 4, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth.”
He requested his friends in the media to not pass judgments till the matter is resolved.
— Sajid Khan (@SimplySajidK) October 12, 2018
Veteran actor Nana Patekar, who is also part of the film, was the first to be swept under the #MeToo wave when actor Tanushree Dutta accused him of manhandling and sexually assaulting her, ten years ago on the sets of Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss.
However, Tanushree’s actions did not affect the shoot of Housefull 4 and Sajid Khan’s sister, director-choreographer Farah Khan shared a picture of them shooting in Jaislamer, much to Dutta’s disappointment.
Housefull 4 is being produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and 70 percent of the shooting has already been done in London and Jaisalmer.
Earlier, Aamir Khan on Wednesday announced his departure from an upcoming project while maintaining its anonymity, saying he has been informed of “sexual misconduct” on the part of a collaborator. The being talked about is the Gulshan Kumar biopic Mogul, the director of which, Subash Kapoor, was accused of molesting a woman.
In a joint statement by Aamir and filmmaker-wife Kiran Rao, the couple said “Aamir Khan Productions has always had a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour of any kind” and said that they were committed to making the industry a safe place.