#MeToo movement has finally hit the Indian shores and everyone including filmmakers, actors, comedians, politicians and journalists have been accused of sexual harassment. The big accused include Nana Patekar, Alok Nath, Minister of State MJ Akbar, Rajat Kapoor, Comedian Utsav Chakraborty and director Vikas Bahl to name a few.
Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra, Parineeti Chopra, Kangana Ranaut have been vocal about sexual harassment, now Imran Khan has joined the list. In an interview to the Indian Express he said that everyone knew about Vikas Bahl but the matter was brushed under the carpet.
“Everyone is talking about Vikas Bahl. I have heard his stories from three other actresses. Ranging from inappropriate touching to straight up saying that if you were cast in the film, what will I get in return. Again, I am telling you what I know directly through the actresses or from the industry. The story of this girl (in case of Vikas Bahl) came somewhere a year ago, if I am not wrong. Everyone in the film industry knew. I was at a social gathering 5-6 months ago, with a lot of people and the conversation came about MeToo movement in Hollywood. At a point, I said what about Bollywood. The Vikas Bahl matter was brushed under the carpet, a few weeks after the news first appeared. I saw him smiling, posing for pictures with every celebrity in the industry. At that point, he started making a film with Hrithik. I was like how is it in Hollywood a culprit is shunned but here he was making a proper film. Everyone was socialising with him. So, I brought it up at the party and realised only I was only odd one there.”
He said,”I cannot be silent about it anymore. My conscience will not allow me to. I do not want them (women) to feel that men in the industry are not standing by them. I have chosen my words and said what I intended to say. I have been silent for long enough and it makes me feel dirty.”
Meanwhile, Vikas Bahl have accused his Phantom partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane of defamation. He has sent legal notices to them accusing them of, firstly, running a campaign to defame him and of using it as a pretext to shut down Phantom Films and making him look responsible for the company’s lockdown.
“You are neither a witness nor the alleged victim, but instead an opportunist seeking to derive benefit based on unsubstantiated information. The alleged incident has not been established in any court of law and that you have exploited the media to propagate your own personal vendetta.” – Vikas Bahl in his notice.
The notice by Bahl also threatens to file civil and/or criminal defamation against Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane unless the two give out an unconditional apology and withdraw their statements against him.
Earlier, Hrithik Roshan had issued the statement against Vikas Bahl who is the director of Hrithik’s upcoming film Super 30. He said that he had requested the producers to take notice and a harsh stand if need be.
— Hrithik Roshan (@iHrithik) October 8, 2018