Bollywood responds to rising #MeToo storm


India’s growing #MeToo storm has hit hard as many prominent and notable personalities in the industry including Nana Patekar, Alok Nath, Subhash Ghai, Sajid Khan and Rajat Kapoor have been called out for their callous and careless actions by multiple women.

Following these allegations, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar have halted production of two upcoming Bollywood blockbusters, Mogul and Housefull 4, calling for harassment claims to be stringently investigated.

Like Khan and Kumar, Hrithik Roshan whose upcoming film, Super 30′s, director Vikas Bahl has been accused of sexual harassment said that he too has requested the producers of the film to look into the matter and take the necessary action. He called for “all proven offenders to be punished and all exploited people must be empowered and given the strength to speak up.”

As the movement gains pace and more women come forward with their #MeToo stories, several Bollywood personalities have come forward and extended their support to the movement and victims.

Farhan Akhtar, who has been supporting the movement, ever since Tanushree Dutta came forward with her account, spoke about the allegations on Sajid Khan writing, “I cannot adequately stress how shocked, disappointed and heartbroken I am to read the stories about Sajid’s behaviour. I don’t know how but he will have to find a way to atone for his alleged actions.”

He added, “Let there be no confusion about whether I stand in solidarity with the women who have spoken up. I absolutely do.”

Kriti Sanon and Riteish Deshmukh, who are also part of Housefull 4 extended their support to the accusers and supported Kumar’s decision to halt shooting under investigations are completed.

Kriti wrote: “As a woman and as an actor, I fully support the #MeToo movement and I’m so glad that women are speaking up! It’s high time that we as an industry introspect a bit and make this industry a safer place for everyone!”

Deshmukh shared similar views and applauded all those women who shared their stories.

“I stand with them today,” he said.

Kumar’s wife, Twinkle Khanna, shared similar views as her husband writing, “Appalled hearing multiple incidents of harassment and it is truly horrific to hear what these women have been through. Everyone involved in Housefull needs to take a firm stance on this issue. This cannot go on.”

Dia Mirza stood in solidarity with the journalist who accused Sajid of harassing her, writing, “I am so sorry you had to go through this. With you in support.”

Emraan Hashmi said that sexual harassment cannot be tolerated anymore and guidelines need to be in place to combat the issue.

Ajay Devgn wrote, “I’m disturbed by all the happenings with regards to #MeToo. My company and I believe in providing women with utmost respect and safety. If anyone has wronged even a single woman, neither ADF [Ajay Devgn Films] nor I will stand for it.

The allegations also prompted member of Parliament and President of the Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi to comment on the matter.

“It’s about time everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity. I’m glad the space for those who don’t, is closing. The truth needs to be told loud and clear in order to bring about change,” he wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, when Tanushree came out with her story of harassment by Nana Patekar, Sonam Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra spoke out against harassment and stood in solidarity with the victims.

However, later Sonam said that she is going of Twitter for a while after she faced immense backlash.

Other actors who voiced their opinions on the matter include Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Ranveer Singh and Kangana Ranaut.