In an expression of solidarity towards actor Tanushree Dutta, who has accused actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassing her on the set of Horn Ok Please, Pooja Bhatt says the least people can do is not discount her courage to speak up.
Tanushree, who reported the alleged incident immediately after it happened in 2008, recounted it in a recent interview.
Taking on those people who have questioned Tanushree Dutta for talking about the incident after 10 years, Pooja said, “Whenever someone complains about it, you shouldn’t count it out. I don’t think we should silence those voices.”
Pooja becomes the latest Bollywood actor to lend support to Tanushree. While megastar Amitabh Bachchan avoided commenting on it, saying he was “neither Tanushree nor Nana,” Aamir Khan said that an investigation in the matter should happen. It was only after Farhan Akhtar came out in support of Tanushree two days ago that a lot of A-listers like Richa Chadha, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar and Hansal Mehta rallied behind the actor.
Pooja Bhatt, however, finds the chatter around Bollywood in this case irrelevant. The actor even took a dig at the film industry, saying that Bollywood is always ahead in support when it comes to someone’s wedding or funeral.
“I find it a very frivolous conversation whether ‘Bollywood stands with you or not’. Truth doesn’t need a PR. If you believe it, go out there and speak it. Do not expect anyone to hold your hands and support you. Bollywood is a great place. You can expect support for award ceremonies, weddings and funerals,” she told mediapersons at the closing ceremony of 9th Jagran Film Festival.
Also present at the festival were Anurag Kashyap, Varun Dhawan, Imtiaz Ali, Sudhir Mishra, Pankaj Kapur and wife Supriya Pathak.
When Varun was asked about Tanushree’s allegation, the actor said while he didn’t know the details of the case, it is essential to make workplace safe for women.
“Respect is very important in a workplace, for every woman, man and child. We have to make our industry safe for women, men, and children. Everyone should be given equal respect. If someone is speaking about it, you should hear the person out. It takes great courage to talk like that. I applaud that courage,” Varun said.
Anurag Kashyap said Tanushree Dutta’s allegation allows everyone, including himself, to introspect the wrongs they have done.
“It is important to change, acknowledge and accept our mistakes. It’s important that we, this goes even for me, introspect and see the wrongs we have done. It’s time we all grew up. It’s the fault of the entire system, the conditioning,” he said.
Meanwhile Pankaj Kapur said an investigation is a must in the case. “Whatever wrong has happened at any point of time, it must be investigated. I cannot say who’s right or wrong but investigation should be done,” Pankaj said.