Since October 5, scores of women from Bollywood have come forward with their #MeToo stories, tales of sexual harassment and mental trauma have emerged against a lot of men within the entertainment industry and the media industry.
At least 11 women filmmakers, including Konkona Sen Sharma, Nandita Das and Zoya Akhtar, have decided to support those who have spoken out. They have also decided not to work with any of the proven offenders.
Konkona Sen Sharma, Nandita Das and Zoya Akhtar, Meghna Gulzar, Gauri Shinde, Kiran Rao, Reema Kagti, Alankrita Shrivastava, Nitya Mehra, Ruchi Narain and Shonali Bose make up the list of 11 women filmmakers who have pledged their support to India’s #MeToo movement.
“As women and filmmakers, we come together to support the #MeToolndia movement. We are in complete solidarity with the women who have come forward with honest accounts of harassment and assault. Our respect and admiration to them as their courage has started a revolution of welcome change,” the statement from the directors read.
“We are here to spread awareness to help create a safe and equal atmosphere for all in the workplace. We have also taken a stand to not work with proven offenders. We urge all our peers in the industry to do the some.”
The #MeToo movement picked up when actress Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the set of the film, Horn Ok Pleasss in 2008. Since she has come out, many other women have spoken out about their experiences and named their harassers.
Many actors have also backed out of films that was being worked on by individuals being named in the list. Akshay Kumar cancelled the shooting of Housefull 4 after Nana Patekar and Sajid Khan were named. Phantom Films, co-founded by Anurag Kashyap and other directors was dissolved after charges of sexual misconduct were made against co-owner Vikas Bahl. Kashyap and Phantom co-owner Vikramditya Motwane have openly said that they believe that Vikas Bahl was guilty of the alleged misconduct.
Women have named many men from the Indian entertainment industry in cases of sexual harassment and misconduct. Celebrities such as Nana Patekar, Rajat Kapoor, Subhash Kapoor, Alok Nath, Subhash Ghai, Vikas Bahl, Kailash Kher, Sajid Khan, Mukesh Chhabra, Aditi Mittal, AIB comedy Group, singer Raghu Dixit and Tamil lyricist-poet Vairamuthu have been named.
Some of the media professionals that were named and shamed include Union minister and former editor MJ Akbar, Hindustan Times journalist Prashant Jha, The Times of India’s Hyderabad resident editor KR Sreenivas and former Times of India executive editor Gautam Adhikari. These are some, among the dozens of men accused of sexual harassment.