Shatrughan Sinha has defended his controversial comments on #MeToo movement, saying he wondered why his comment said in ‘good humour’ was taken by the ‘nari protection brigade’ to prove he is a ‘lecher’. Reiterating his point of a woman being behind the fall of a successful man, the actor came out in support of filmmakers Rajkumar Hirani and Subhash Ghai, who he said were accused without ‘substantiated evidence.’
At a recent event, the veteran had said that ‘behind a successful man's fall is a woman’ and that despite ‘everything he has done’, his name had not come out in the #MeToo movement.
"Today is the time of #MeToo, and there shouldn't be any shame or hesitation to say that behind a successful man's fall is a woman. Behind the troubles and infamy of successful men, there have been mostly women that I've seen in this movement," Sinha had said.
He added, "I really call myself fortunate that in today's times, tamam harkate karne kay bawajood (despite everything that I've done), my name hasn't come out in the #MeToo movement. Hence, I listen to my wife and often take her as a shield with me so that even if there's nothing, I can show, 'I am happily married, my life is good.'"
Later, when he was asked if he was mocking the movement, the 72-year-old said he was only saying it with a ‘plain sense of humour’ and that he salutes those who came out now, ‘better late than never.’
"Don't take it otherwise. Please take it with a plain sense of humour. I highly appreciate and applaud the women, who, better late than never, have come forward... I salute their courage and guts.”
His comments received backlash on social media, with people calling it a ‘disgrace’, his own undoing and used his iconic catchphrase 'Khamosh.'
Notably, popular TV actor Nakuul Mehta called it ‘absolute bonkers.’
According to reports, Sinha defended his comments in a recent interview saying his comments were being ‘miscontrued’ to ‘malign him’, but added that the MeToo movement is derailing the ‘healthy equation’ between men and women at the workplace. The veteran actor-politician said that men are ‘afraid’ to open their mouths in front of women.
He clarified that he had only made the comment in ‘good humour’ about the fear of being called out, something other men of the entertainment industry are also facing. But Sinha said he was surprised at the manner the ‘nari protection brigade’ took his comments in a way to prove he is a ‘lecher.’
The former MP stated that he always speaks with the ‘highest regard’ and supported women’s right to be treated with dignity and respect. The ’Dostana’ star also spoke about two ‘strong women’, his wife Poonam and daughter Sonakshi, and how he and his sons let them be the boss of the house.
He reiterated the point that despite ‘all that he has done,’ he was not called out in the #Metoo movement and that in the wake of the movement, it wasn’t wrong to say that behind a successful man’s fall is a woman.
Sinha continued that he listens to his wife and takes her as a ‘shield’ so that even when there’s ‘nothing’, he can say he is happily married and that 'life is good.'
The politician said that he was always a ‘friendly person’, ‘warm and talkative’ and that he used to ‘flirt harmlessly’ before he got married. The ‘Kaala Pathar’ star added that the actresses never minded his flirting, but now he is wondering how he could be sure about another woman not coming forward today to say she objected to his behaviour then and couldn’t raise her voice then because was ‘powerful.’
The 72-year-old also asserted that there is a difference between sexual harassment and ‘re-interpreting or misinterpreting’ any interaction as sexual harassment.
Sinha also stood up for Rajkumar Hirani and Subhash Ghai saying they have been accused without ‘substantiated evidence.’ He added that people who have worked hard for years to build a reputation were ‘losing it over a tweet.’
The veteran wondered how his comments were ‘disrespectful to women’ and who decides whether it is respectful or not. He asked why ‘self-appointed guardians of morality’ have made the movement their ‘personal property’ to be used ‘as when and how they wish.’
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