Me Too Movement in India: Following the global outrage over the Harvey Weinstein incident in the West, where the noted Hollywood producer was accused of sexual harassment by over 70 women, the #MeToo movement has finally arrived in India, engulfing the whole media and entertainment industry. Several women have bravely come out with stories about harassment and sexual abuse at workplace at the hands of the powerful and higher-ups.
Ever since Tanushree Dutta, in an interview, alleged that Nana Patekar misbehaved with her while filming a special song for Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008, many well-known comedians, journalists, and actors have been named and shamed on social media in the past few days as allegations of sexual misconduct continue to burst out.
The #MeToo movement, which began as a hashtag on Twitter in 2017 amid the Weinstein incident, has now become a global phenomenon. Created by Alyssa Milano, the movement soon found support with noted Hollywood actors Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman. The movement was chosen as the Person of the Year by the Time magazine. It also gave birth to the more militant Time’s Up campaign.
#MeToo in India
The movement gained steam in India after former AIB comedian Utsav Chakraborty was accused of sexual harassment by a writer and fellow comic, who also said that the company had not taken any action despite her complaints. Following the incident, AIB founding member and CEO Tanmay Bhat “stepped away” from his role, while another founding member Gursimran Khamba, who has also been accused of sexual misconduct, has been asked to go on temporary leave.
Next in line was Queen director Vikas Bahl, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a former employee of Phantom Films, which has now been disbanded. On Monday, the swell of accusations knocked on the door of Union Minister MJ Akbar, with six women journalists accusing him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour when he worked as a newspaper editor.