Tanushree Dutta on Wednesday slammed all those in Bollywood who are allegedly lending support to #MeToo accused. This comes days after Aamir Khan joined hands again with director Subhash Kapoor for upcoming film Mogul, a biopic on music baron Gulshan Kumar.
In a statement, Tanushree said, “How come nobody in Bollywood has sleepless nights when a girl who is an upcoming professional becomes a victim of harassment or abuse of some kind and is inadvertently out of the industry and not able to work out of humiliation, trauma and ostracization? How come nobody thinks of the livelihood of those women who have had to let go of promising, flourishing careers due to harassment at the workplace? There seems to be so much compassion for the #MeToo accused floating around but none for the alleged victims it seems.”
Tanushree Dutta helped trigger the #MeToo movement in Bollywood last year after she accused Nana Patekar of allegedly harassing her on the sets of Horn OK Pleassss back in 2009. This was followed by several women in the industry coming forward to reveal their stories of harassment.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, director Subhash Kapoor was dropped from Mogul. At that time, Aamir Khan had released a statement saying that he would no longer be associated with Subhash in any capacity. However, in a recent interview with Hindustan Times, the actor revealed that he has had a change of heart. Aamir also added that despite what his move might suggest, he still supports the #MeToo movement.
Aamir said, “Of course I fully support the MeToo movement. And I urge women who have complaints to formally lodge them with their ICC (Internal Complaints Committee), which every organisation must mandatorily have. Just to clarify, the case of Mr Kapoor was not a case of workplace misconduct, hence could not be investigated by an ICC.”
After Aamir Khan’s latest decision, Tanushree slammed the actor. In a statement, she said, “I know this is a very tricky situation and one that many well-meaning people in the industry face today and Aamir Khan could be one of those or perhaps it’s a well-crafted excuse. Only he and his God knows. Being a woman, it’s a task finding your place in the world and then when it’s taken away from you, it’s an uphill ride getting your feet firm again. No compassion for me, Aamir?”
Read the full statement of Tanushree Dutta here:
“I read through the whole paragraph that Aamir Khan wrote justifying himself for his actions and I certainly understand this perceived personal dilemma. But having said that I just want to ask one question. How come nobody in Bollywood has sleepless nights when a girl who is an upcoming professional becomes the victim of harassment or abuse of some kind and is inadvertently out of the industry and not able to work out of humiliation, trauma and ostracization? How come nobody thinks of the livelihood of those women who have had to let go of promising, flourishing careers due to harassment at the workplace? There seems to be so much compassion for the #MeToo accused floating around but none for the alleged victims it seems. Well, one is still a victim whether its proven in court or committees or not and only such a person will know the pain of having to see their perpetrators flourish and work while they wait in the wings waiting for a court verdict that puts a stamp of approval on their complaint and their sufferings as a default. Isn’t that the whole point of speaking out? to empower those that have no voice? And to try to heal the wounds of those that have no validation yet from the court for the injustices they bore? Compassion is only compassion if its universal. If it’s so selective as is being displayed by the bigwigs of Bollywood, then it’s not compassion its convenience and ignorance!
Beware of where you let your heart flow lest your soul be afflicted too with the sins of those that your mind has justified.
I know this is a very tricky situation and one that many well-meaning people in the industry face today and Aamir Khan could be one of those or perhaps it’s a well-crafted excuse. Only he and his God knows. Having sailed in the same boat myself, I know that nobody bothered to even ask me how I was doing when being an actor, my primary livelihood was snatched away from me after the Horn OK Pleassss harassment episode. I had to make do by doing celebrity appearances and stage shows at events and brand endorsements etc, whereas I was a talented screen actor taking in millions with each movie. Nobody wrote letters requesting bigwigs to work with me and help me resurrect my career and help me heal from the trauma, insult and humiliation that I endured. Nobody lent me a shoulder to cry on when for years me and my family suffered the consequences of harassment at workplace emotionally and psychologically. Being a woman, it’s a task finding your place in the world and then when it’s taken away from you, it’s an uphill ride getting your feet firm again.No compassion for me, Aamir?
In order that such incidents not be repeated again, a boycott becomes important just so that there is fear and accountability among people who take their freedom for granted and abuse their power. Let them get a taste of the same medicine and develop their own compassion. And unfortunately when a world needs to be changed there will be collateral damage; of personal opinions and judgements for the greater good of humanity. You have to surrender your will to Gods will. So people have to decide if they want to appease their misguided compassion or root for a much-needed cause because if every alleged harasser gets reinstated then the goal of a harassment and abuse-free workplace and society becomes a distant dream as we all know such cases go on for years in court with little or no relief to the victims. The victims, on the other hand, are the first to bear the brunt so if someone has taken that extra hit by speaking out, shouldn’t they also need to be shown some compassion too? If you have managed to convince yourself to hire this guy, then why not hire the girl who suffered the consequences of his actions? Are you doing that? Her story as I read in the papers clearly shows that for years she has struggled even with her basic livelihood? No compassion there? Why only the creepy men of Bollywood getting all the compassion? Show us some love too, darlings. Let these girls also see some of that saintly do-goodery that Bollywood has so hammered on about to the press and media.”