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#Metoo After-Effects: No More Naming and Shaming Without Proof?

Who will be named this morning? That’s the dreaded question that Bollywood’s  biggest names are waking up to. Rumour has  it that a top superstar has paid in lakhs and lakhs to ensure no one comes forward with any allegation against him.

“There is no guarantee that I won’t be named, although I’ve never  intentionally or unintentionally insulted  any woman in my life. But how do I know how this works?  Maybe something I said 15-20 years ago would be regarded as  sexual harassment,” says  a producer-director with  a spotless image.

A prolific director says, “To be honest, the entire entertainment industry is shaken just now. We  have ceased to hold any sort of interaction  or even basic communication with women who are not on our speed-dial list, namely our mothers, wives, daughters and business managers. The other day I met  a young digital executive  who said he was exploring job prospects outside India in case he  loses his job overnight.”

Ashoke Pandit who is the chief advisor of the Federation Of  Western India Cine Employees(FWICE) says his federation is  taking stringent measures to stop this random  naming and shaming. “People are losing their  reputation and jobs on the basis of a mere anonymous post on the social media. This  has to stop. Casting director Mukesh Chaabra has been sacked from his job as director in the film Kizzie Aur Manny. We’ve asked  the producers  Star India for him to be reinstated immediately until the allegations against him are  proved. Look at  (filmmaker) Vipul Shah. Spotless reputation. Then some starlet comes along saying  he wanted her to sleep with him in exchange of a role. She went to him and he apparently made this offer. She didn’t get the role and yet she kept going back to him???!!  Boss,  let’s have some sense behind these allegations.”

Ashoke says  there  is the  other unquestionably  genuine side  to the MeToo movement.  “People like Sajid Khan are known offenders. The four brave women who have  come forward  to speak to us at  the  FWICE have made  horrific  revelations  about  Sajid Khan’s predatory ways. We’ve asked  him to come forward and explain his behaviour. Not surprisingly he   is quiet. And we will proceed with  disciplinary action against him.”

Actress-activist Tapsee Pannu who has been appointed   a member  of the CINTAA(Cine & TV Artistes Association) says, women need  to exercise a sense  of responsibility  while  making the allegations. “The guidelines for leveling charges  are being laid down.Since I haven’t been in Mumbai for quite some time the other members of the Association will  have  more clarity  on the issue.I am  sure the  Association would’ve figured something out on this. With great power comes great responsibility too and I hope women understand that.”

Updated: October 31, 2018 — 8:59 am
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