Kannada actor Avantika Shetty has lashed out at the filmmakers of her new film Raju Kannada Medium on social media besides levelling charges of on-set harassment against them. In her Facebook post, expressing doubts over the safety of the women in the industry, she has alleged that she was subjected to unfair treatment by the filmmakers.
Avantika shot to fame after director Anup Bhandari’s Rangitaranga became a top-grosser in Kannada cinema in 2015. She is currently part of Rajaratha and Upendra’s Kalpana 2. Avantika has said that she had a very good experience working with these filmmakers and actors but producer K Suresh and the team of Raju Kannada Medium has shattered her “illusion of a perfect scenario.”
Describing herself as a victim of objectification and helpless, Avantika has accused Suresh of a smear campaign against her. “I recently read an article with fabricated content provided by Mr Suresh. It ruthlessly maligns my name, making all sorts of baseless allegations and projects my character in poor light, a trait which has remained intact and will remain so all my life. The problem started from the very first schedule of the film when I sensed that it wasn’t my performance the producer and the director were really bothered about. I obviously ignored them and remained totally engrossed in giving my best to the character,” she wrote in her post.
She said that she has completed majority of her portion and a small chunk was left to be shot in Bangkok before she was booted out by the filmmakers. “The next thing I know, I was unceremoniously asked to leave back to Mumbai (my city) citing my average performance in the film as a reason which surprisingly came up after I asked them about a bounced cheque. Half of my dues weren’t cleared, a presented cheque bounced and I was certain that the producer will release the film without me dubbing for it and he will get some dubbing artiste to do the job. Luckily for me, having an exclusive right to dub is part of the contract I signed with the producer,” she has said.
Avantika has moved a Karnataka court and the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce regarding the matter after the filmmakers allegedly did not respond to her efforts to sort out the matter amicably.
Suresh, however, has alleged that Avantika’s unfriendly and unprofessional behaviour was the reason the makers decided to drop her from his film. “Suresh has claimed that it was a ‘stop payment’ and not a case of the cheque being dishonoured. He has claimed that Avantika has acted in the film for only 15 out of the 40 days she had signed up for,” reported Times of India.