#MeToo : How celebs are reacting to Tanushree’s allegations on Nana Patekar for harassment

Tanushree Dutta has been making headlines due to her accusations against Nana Patekar for misbehaving and harassing her during the shoot of the film Horn Ok Please back in 2010. She said that when the incident took place, she even elaborated the complete issue to the director and producers of the film, but nobody came for her support and was even warned to be thrown out of the film industry if she dared to speak up.The Aashiq Banaya Aapne actress, in an interview, even blamed the Raj Thackeray government for supporting Nana Patekar and threatening her. She elaborated her ordeal to media in series of interviews after coming back from US recently.

The film industry reminded us how divided it is currently where two separate reactions are coming up to Tanushree Dutta’s allegations of harassment and intimidation against Nana Patekar. One half is supporting her for showing courage and urging that her story, which dates from 10 years ago, should be given a fair hearing and justice. While the other half, shamefully speaking against her, supporting the accused indirectly and wishing the controversy well away.

Nana Patekar has denied ever harassing Tanushree Dutta and claims to have sent her a legal notice that she says she hasn’t yet received. He quoted “What can I say whyshe is saying it? How do I know why she is saying this? What does she mean by sexual harassment? There were 50-100 people on the set with me.” “I’ll take legal action against her. But it is waste telling media about it because you will play up anything. Whatever people want to say, they can say. But I will continue doing my work.”

Maneka Gandhi, the minister for Women and Child Development, has said that “harassment will not be tolerated.

A few celebs openly speaking in her support are:

1. Farhan Akhtar

Farhan Akhtar was one of the few male actors, in fact one of the first celebs to have responded to thread of tweets shared by Journalist Janice Sequeira. 

2. Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra further shared Farhan’s tweet with hashtag #BelieveSuvivors

3. Twinkle Khanna

Twinkle Khanna, unlike her husband Akshay Kumar, tweeted in support of Tanushree and shed light on importance of safety in workplace environment.

4. Sonam K. Ahuja

Actress Sonam Kapoor, whose father Anil Kapoor has worked in films like Welcome with Nana Patekar, and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap have shown support and also spoke about Janice’s credibility.

5. Anurag Kashyap

6. Richa Chadha

Actresses Richa Chadha and Swara Bhasker were among the earliest industry members to tweet in support of Tanushree Dutta.

7. Swara Bhaskar

8. Freida Pinto

Freida Pinto just added her voice to the swelling chorus of support for Ms Dutta and stressing the importance of not using the lapse of time to excuse allegedly terrible behaviour.

9. Raveena Tandon

Raveena Tandon spoke about workplace harassment in a tweet.

10. Kajol

Kajol, who has an experience of 25 years in Bollywood said “What she speaks about is definitely the reality and I wouldn’t say it’s restricted to our industry. I think it’s pretty mucha concern all over, whichever field we talk about.” She also stressed that men are also vulnerable to sexual harassment,” adding that it never happened to her.

11. Varun Dhawan

Varun Dhawan, while speaking at the Jagran Film Festival on Sunday, told news agency IANS that the raging controversy highlights the importance workplace respect for women: “I have been busy with Sui Dhaaga, so I haven’t really heard the whole story, but I think what’s most important at a workplace is respect – whether for a woman, man or a child. We want to make our industry a safe place and everyone deserves equal respect. Also if someone is openly talking about the issue, we should hear them out. It takes great courage to talk about it and I applaud that courage.”

12. Renuka Shahane

Actress Renuka Sahane defended Tanushree Dutta in a lengthy facebook post, providing insights saying: “Is the work place meant for terrorising people or about working in a healthy atmosphere?” She also wrote that Nana Patekar is infamous for his short temper.

13. Ishita Dutta

Tanushree’s sister, Ishita is of course supporting her and quoted saying, “What she is trying to achieve is that she is trying to set an example. If something like this happens, it is not your fault. You should not shy away from it. And speak about it.” She added, “I still remember, I was at home and I saw the video; people jumping on the car, banging the glass, the horrified and terrified face of my sister and family. I was so scared because I wasn’t there with them. I didn’t know what to do. That memory will never go away.”

14. Anushka Sharma

Anushka Sharma, while speaking at the Jagran Film Festival on Sunday alongside Varun Dhawan, told news agency IANS “Not just as a woman but as an individual, your workplace has to be the safest environment after your home. You shouldn’t feel threatened or in danger while performing your duties, whatever profession you might be. It’s very frightening to know the details that have come out. For Tanushree Dutta to speak up about this takes a lot of courage to come out there and say these things.”

She added, “Knowing the tide that will be against her. That’s the reason why a lot of people don’t speak. But the fact that she’s coming out and speaking about it, it’s our collective duty to just respect the woman, and hear what she is speaking. Hear her out and to not get into judgements, character analysis and all those sort of things that happen. I understand it’s a legal matter and the truth will come out, and it’s fine. But if someone is choosing to come out and speak up, the least you can do is listen to them and be respectful about it.”

However, there are other people from the industry that are mute on this topic and trying to run away and avoiding talking about the controversy and the whole issue.

1. Amitabh Bachchan

At the trailer launch of Thugs Of Hindostan, BigB dodged a question on the controversy by saying “Neither my name is Tanushree nor Nana Patekar. So, how can I answer your question?” Just to remind you, Mr Bachchan spoke at length about consent while promoting his film PINK in 2016.

2. Aamir Khan

Aamir, who joined Mr.Bachchan on stage at the trailer launch of Thugs Of Hindostan, said: “Without knowing the veracity of something, it’s not right for me to comment on it. But whenever something like this does happen, it’s a sad thing. Whether this has happened, that is for people to investigate it.” This is not the right way to deal with such a sensitive issue, Aamir. 

3. Salman Khan

Salman claimed to live under a rock while speaking at a sports event in Mumbai. He said “I’m not aware of this, my dear. Let me know and understand what is happening… If we see what is going on, I am not aware of what you are talking about.” WOW.

CINTAA (Cine And TV Artistes Association), where the complaint was registered by Tanushree Dutta 10 years ago, offered a lame apology for having ignored her then. They simply stated “Sorry we didn’t do anything then and sorry we can’t do anything now. We feel that the decision taken in the Joint Dispute Settlement Committee of CINTAA and IFTPC (then known as AMPTPP) in July 2008 was not appropriate, as the chief grievance of sexual harassment wasn’t even addressed… Highly regrettable and no apologies can suffice, hence we must resolve today to never allow such lapses to occur again. CINTAA stands strongly for the dignity and self-respect of its members. Sexual harassment is a serious criminal offence; unfortunately CINTAA’s Constitution bars us from taking up any case which is more than three years old.”

Now, on the other hand, there’s an ugly side which is not in favour of Tanushree and shamelessly showing their true colours.

  1. Shakti Kapoor

The famous actor, known for playing villainous and comical roles, mocked the controversy at a recent event saying “I don’t know anything about this case. This was 10 years back, I was a kid back then.” Mr. Kapoor was the subject of an alleged sting operation and was caught on camera offering an aspiring actress work in exchange of sexual favours in 2005 himself. He claims the video was doctored but his recent comment gives a hint of the reality.

2. Akshay Kumar and Farah Khan

The Housefull 4 actor Akshay Kumar is silent this time and filmmaker Farah Khan shared a post after Tanushree renewed her allegations where a picture of a smiling Nana Patekar taking off for a shoot of the film is shown , with actresses Kriti Sanon and Pooja Hegde as if nothing at all had happened.

3. MNS

The youth wing of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) – allegedly involved in attacking Tanushree Dutta’s van and car – has threatened the makers of reality show Bigg Boss if Ms. Dutta were to be featured in the current season.

What are your opinions on this controversy and the way the film industry is treating this sensitive yet important issue of safety? Do let us know in the comments section!

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Written by TEAM WSL

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