Following the onset of the #MeToo wave in India and Bollywood, Saif Ali Khan says he stands in solidarity with the women sharing their stories of sexual harassment as he understands the pain they have been through.
The Bollywood nawab said that he too faced harassment years ago, even though it was not sexual in nature.
“I have also been harassed in my career, not sexually, but I have been harassed 25 years ago and I am still angry about it,” Saif told PTI.
“Most people don’t understand other people. It is very difficult to understand other people’s pain. I don’t want to talk about it because I am not important today. Even when I think about what happened with me I still get angry. Today, we have to look after women,” he continued.
Saif said the offenders must be punished even if they are found guilty in an old case.
“People are offended and they want justice. What it is happening is good and it gives you a sense that something is happening. People who have sexually harassed and abused women should pay for it.”
Saif’s Humshakals co-stars – Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta – recently opened up about director Sajid Khan’s “rude” behaviour towards women on the sets of the 2014 film. While Bipasha said she was disturbed with Sajid’s attitude towards women, Esha revealed she got into a lot of arguments with him. Sajid has been accused of sexual misconduct by three female actors and a journalist. He has since been replaced by Farhad Samji as the director of Housefull 4.
Recalling his experience during Humshakals, Saif said, “I don’t remember anything like this happening genuinely because if it would have happened I would not have been comfortable in that environment or allowed it to happen in front of me.”
“I would hate an atmosphere where women are being looked down upon or mistreated in any way. I don’t think that’s how an atmosphere should be,” he added.
Meanwhile, Saif hit Netflix show, Sacred Games‘ future is still hanging after Varun Grover a writer on the show was accused of allegedly harassing a woman during his college days. The streaming giant in a statement had said that they are evaluating their options.
On this matter, Saif said, “They [Netflix] don’t like me talking about it. Even when there is no issue. However, we don’t have to oversell Netflix, they are a very strong company.”
“They also have very strong values. They are the people who have pioneered this kind of incredibly strong stance against any kind of harassment. So, they are going to look at the way forward, and I am hopeful there will be a way forward,” the 48-year-old remarked.
Saif asserted he will not work with those who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
“We all need to have the same attitude. I don’t want to work with them. We have to understand that how these people are behaving, it is not ok, it is disgusting.”