The #MeToo movement in India has taken the film industry by storm. Many acclaimed directors and producers have been accused, and then forced to exit high profile projects. In a recent development, director of the Housefull franchise Sajid Khan was accused of sexual harassment by three women after which he has decided to step down from his directorial position in Housefull 4.
Assistant director Saloni Chopra gave a detailed and harrowing account of the claim in a series of tweets.
I finally decided to share my story with you. Writing this was like re-living all that horrible past I’d chosen to let go of, but I knew if I don’t today, I may never. So here’s #metoo #MetooIndia https://t.co/brouTYIBC7
— Saloni Chopra (@redheadchopra) October 11, 2018
Later actress Rachel White and a journalist Karishma Upadhyay also came out and shared their stories about the torment they have faced at the hands of the said director.
The Heyy Babyy director took to Twitter and announced in a statement that amidst the allegations and the pressure on his family, he was stepping down as director. “In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producers and the stars of my film Housefull 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. I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgment till the truth is out,” he wrote.
— Sajid Khan (@SimplySajidK) October 12, 2018
One of the lead actors of the film, Akshay Kumar has requested the producers of the film to halt the shooting process until further notice. He issued a statement in the wake of the accusations made against Sajid and previously accused, Nana Patekar, who is also part of the cast for Housefull 4.
“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 tweeted.
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) October 12, 2018
Actor-director, Farhan Akhtar also expressed shock and disappointment after these allegations surfaced against Sajid. “I cannot adequately stress how shocked, disappointed and heartbroken I am to read stories about Sajid’s behaviour. I don’t know how but he will have to find a way to atone for his alleged actions,” Farhan posted on Twitter.
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.
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) October 12, 2018
Akshay Kumar’s wife, Twinkle Khanna shared her shock as well and issued a statement, stressing that this should be taken seriously as ‘this cannot go on.’
“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,” she posted.
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.
— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) October 12, 2018
Last month, during an interview, Tanushree Dutta came forward with sexual harassment accusations against Nana Patekar that happened on the sets of Horn OK Pleassss in 2008. It is since then that the #MeToo movement has picked up in India.