Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn on Thursday issued a statement about working with Alok Nath in De De Pyaar De. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Alok was accused of sexually assaulting multiple women in the past.
Ajay, who will be seen sharing screen space with Alok in the upcoming film, has called out the industry for singling him out as being insensitive. He reiterated his claim of supporting all women who have been victims of atrocities at their workplace. In the official statement, the actor explained that Alok worked on the film much before the accusations surfaced and how dropping him from the project would have been very difficult. He further said, “I am extremely sensitive to the #MeToo movement.”
Ajay Devgn’s statement comes two days after Tanushree Dutta, who spearheaded the #MeToo movement called the actor a “spineless hypocrite” for putting on a facade of being a family man just to promote his career.
Here’s what Ajay Devgn said in the statement on Thursday:
“When the entire #MeToo Movement happened, I along with many of my film industry colleagues categorically expressed that I respect every single woman at the workplace and I would not stand for any unfairness or atrocity against them. Nothing about my stand has changed.
Coming to the question of having worked with Mr Alok Nath in my upcoming film De De Pyar De, here I must put certain things in perspective.
This film was supposed to be an October 2018 release. The shoot of the film got over by last September. The portions with Mr. Alok Nath were canned by August in Manali. The said portions were shot over 40 days across various sets and an outdoor location with a combination of over 10 actors. By the time the allegations came out (in October 2018) the actors in the film including me had already started work on other films. It would be near impossible to get all the dates and combinations of several actors in the film and attempt a re-shoot with some other actor replacing Mr Nath. It would also have been a huge monetary loss for the producers. Everyone is aware that filmmaking is a collaborative process. The decision to replace Mr Alok Nath could never have been mine alone. In this case, I would have to go with the joint decision of the entire unit. Not to forget, I could not have brought the entire combination of actors back or put up sets again for a 40-day re-shoot because this would mean doubling the budget, which again wasn’t my call to make. It would have to be the call of the makers. Had circumstances played out even slightly differently, I would have pushed for a different combination of actors. Unfortunately, this was not to be.
I reiterate I am extremely sensitive to the #MeToo movement. But when circumstances are beyond me, I don’t see why an attempt is being made to ‘single’ me out as being insensitive. This is untrue.”
Read here what Tanushree Dutta wrote in her statement against Ajay Devgn and his film De De Pyaar De:
“Tinsel town is full of liars, showoffs and spineless hypocrites. And it seems by a large public consensus that the sign post is pointing currently at Ajay Devgn. During the #MeToo movement in India, the actor had tweeted and sworn never to work with those accused and now in a surprising and convenient turn of events is working with rape and harassment accused Alok Nath and supporting him to make a comeback in Bollywood. Doesn’t this prove yet again that your big Bollywood heroes are truly zeroes!
Overrated actors and human beings who have created a clout by clever PR machinery and careful manipulation of public sentiments. Old stuffy morons who can’t tell the difference between what’s right and wrong and what is the need of the hour! So would it be so difficult to just edit out Alok Nath’s portions in the film and hire someone else and reshoot those bits even before the film promotions started? Nobody even knew before the posters and trailers that Alok Nath is in the film so if Ajay Devgn and the makers wanted they could have just quietly replaced him and re-shot his portions (which is barely 10-15 days for character actors in Bollywood) and given Vinta Nanda the respect she deserves as well as several other women who were troubled by this guy. But no! They had to keep the alleged rapist in their film and rub it on not only Vinta’s but on all our faces as a show of solidarity with all rapists, molesters and harassers of Bollywood and an even greater show of arrogance and defiance against all things morally and conscientiously right.
It’s time India wakes up and stops worshiping these morally bankrupt actors, directors, producers and others who clearly put on a facade of being family men just to promote their careers that they build on the tears of women like Vinta and others whom they silence using their muscle power. If you dig deep you will find skeletons in their closets so horrendous that it will totally make sense why they would stand supporting the accused rapists, harassers and abusers and why their conscience doesn’t prick them while doing so and why they give evasive answers when questioned. Birds of a feather always flock together and that’s why perhaps it doesn’t bother some of these people to work with a guy who has been accused by several women of horrendous behaviour and that’s why there’s always an excuse.
The law and order in India has always been skewed against the victims of sexual crimes and that’s why the criminals have always been out on bail. The burden of proof is always on the poor woman and hence justice in court has been a far fetched dream mostly apart from very few exceptions that too after years perhaps. But now we know that even the bigwigs of Bollywood not only love to support such creepy individuals but when you question them, they give weird answers! The disgrace is not in the question or the topic but in your own conscience and soul! You are the disgrace!
I hope and pray that someday Bollywood can be free of such lowlifes enjoying the adulation of millions but socially so irresponsible. We need to have real heroes and heroines in Bollywood. Real men and women who stand up for the dignity of helpless folks. Be living examples of compassion, goodwill and heroism and make a real impact in the nation by using their power and position to help rather than derail movements such as #MeToo and other causes and lead by example. Till then no option but to put up with these fake heroes and their even faker rag doll heroines!”