Amidst the ongoing #MeToo movement in Bollywood industry, a lot of popular and powerful names have come forth- starting from Nana Patekar, Vikas Bahl and Rajat Kapoor to Alok Nath, and several others. However, Imran Khan takes up a strong stand like no other and makes more shocking revelations:
The Me Too movement had gained momentum after the fearless confession of Tanushree Dutta against Nana Patekar, who has been accused of sexually harassing her on the shoot of Horn OK Please. Well, suffice to say while we’re not quite glad that so much of injustice has been carried out inside the industry, it is a relief that finally the shameful truth is out in the open. After all, several other powerful names have been dragged down into this fire, and we’re all in the support of the victims.
However, one man being Imran Khan has taken a very different yet strong stand as he finally breaks his silence over Vikas Bahl‘s case and supports the accusations made by his victims against the director-producer. Reportedly, the actor has heard of three actresses complaining about being sexually harassed by Vikas earlier in his career. Although the ‘Katti Batti‘ has refrained from giving out names, we know that four are already out.
In conversation with a leading daily, he stated that he has witnessed and had wanted to speak up about the alleged misconduct but was advised not to. “Everyone is talking about Vikas Bahl. I have heard his stories from three other actresses. Ranging from inappropriate touching to straight up saying that if you were cast in the film, what will I get in return,” he said.
Moreover, he stated that #MeToo was long overdue adding to it that, “there have been times when I wanted to speak out, but was advised not to as people will assume I am trying to grab publicity.”
Imran furthermore added, There are a lot of things that have happened in front of me and bothered me for years. Even after being aware of so many things, I could not say it out because I somewhere felt no one will support me on it. I cannot name people I am talking about, but I will tell you stories as I know it.”
However, the shocking news was when Imran Khan revealed about another incident related to Vikas, from years ago, “Very early in my career, there was a director who was auditioning for the female lead in a film. He made girls do a photoshoot in bikinis. These photographs went straight to the director’s personal laptops. These were not costume tests. These were not even used for marketing. So, what was he doing with these photographs? Later, he was showing these photos to the three shortlisted actresses and other women on the sets. I found it appalling. It is sexism and definitely emotional and mental harassment. It was a wrong usage of power. There is a story later that happened with the actress. I hope she speaks of it through the story I am telling, it is her choice.”
Moreover, Aamir Khan‘s nephew made much more surprising revelations as he said, “I am telling you what I know directly through the actresses or from the industry. The story of this girl (in case of Vikas Bahl) came somewhere a year ago, if I am not wrong. Everyone in the film industry knew. I was at a social gathering 5-6 months ago, with a lot of people and the conversation came about #MeToo movement in Hollywood,” Mr Khan said.
At a point, I said what about Bollywood? The Vikas Bahl matter was brushed under the carpet, a few weeks after the news first appeared. I saw him smiling, posing for pictures with every celebrity in the industry. At that point, he started making a film with Hrithik (Roshan). I was like how is it in Hollywood a culprit is shunned but here he was making a proper film. Everyone was socialising with him. So, I brought it up at the party and realised only I was only odd one there,” he added.
Imran Khan concluded by saying, “These people might not come out in open, but I wanted to stand up and say I support them completely. I cannot be silent about it anymore. My conscience will not allow me to. As a man, I know what it is to say that. I do not want to deal with negative publicity but how these women have come out is brave. I do not want them to feel that men in the industry are not standing by them. I have chosen my words and said what I intended to say. I have been silent for long enough and it makes me feel dirty.”
Vikas Bahl has been currently facing drop outs from Super 30‘s promotional rolls to the credits for 83‘ starring Ranveer Singh. Seems like Bollywood is finally coming into terms with its harsh reality!