Director Abhishek Chaubey says with many top names in Bollywood having been outed in the wake of the MeToo movement, men in the industry are extremely scared.
Since the MeToo movement picked steam in India, Nana Patekar, Vikas Bahl, Sajid Khan and Mukesh Chhabra among others have been named as alleged sexual harassers.
Also accused of sexual harassment was writer Varun Grover, who has worked with Abhishek Chaubey on his upcoming directorial venture Sonchiriya. Varun has since refuted the allegation in a lengthy point-by-point rebuttal, and has also found support from his frequent collaborators including Chaubey.
When asked how he reacts to these allegations, the Sonchiriya director said while he had a sense of “these things” happening in the industry, he didn’t know the extent of the exploitation.
“I react to it with a deep sense of shock but mostly it’s very distressing and upsetting. It’s a very male thing to say this but I knew this must be happening around. This industry is a very exploitative place, but I had no idea of the extent. I used to tell my parents that I don’t see it happening around me because it was genuinely not happening around me.
“I lived a very sheltered life in my 20s when I was working with Vishal (Bhardwaj). It wasn’t happening around us. So we believed that it wasn’t happening as much as people were making it out to be. But evidently, not. It’s been shocking, distressing and saddening,” Abhishek Chaubey told indianexpress.com.
When the Udta Punjab director was asked if men in Bollywood have begun introspection in the post-MeToo era, Chaubey said introspection seems like a far-fetched idea right now.
“Introspection is a very big word. I think they are scared shitless and that’s fine. Let them be scared,” the director said.