The #MeToo movement has gained a lot of traction in India, especially in Bollywood. Names of several popular faces from the fim industry has come in the forefront, who have been accused of sexual harassment. Recently, a Twitter user posted screenshot of her conversation with an anonymous woman who accused Ashish Patil, the Talent and Business Head of YRF of sexual harassment.
Responding to the allegations, Yash Raj Films released an official statement, promising to take strict actions. In their statement, they wrote, "We have gone through the survivors account and her experience that Ms Japleen Pasricha has shared "with the survivor's consent" on her Twitter handle. YRF respects women and strives to provide safe working environment for its women colleagues including aspiring women artists who visit YRF for auditions, interviews or to share their work. YRF has zero tolerance towards any form of sexual exploitation or harassment of women employees, artists both within the studio or outside, during any outdoor shooting of films. YRF takes serious view of such misconduct."
Further promising to investigate and reach a conclusive decision they wrote,"We have taken the survivors account very seriously and would like to investigate her story and go to the root of the matter. Respecting her anonymity, we would request her to kindly share the details of the incidents. We assure you these details and your identity would be kept completely confidential and help us in our investigation. We assure that we shall take the strictest action against the alleged perpetrator if the allegation of sexual harassment are found to be true."
On October 10, Jasleen Pasricha, an activist shared the screenshot, where an aspiring actor, on request of anonymity had narrated her ordeal to Pasricha. As per the woman, in 2016 she had "messaged Ashish Patil, the Talent and Business head of Yash Raj Films in 2016 after all her attempts to meet Shanoo Sharma failed." She then claimed to have met Ashish Patil, whohad seen her email and would take her out in his car under the pretext of work and touch her hand and thigh. Once after dropping her home , he grabbed and kissed her. "He said that he is leaving but rather grabbed me and acted as the hero of Yash Raj movies while forcing a long kiss on my lips,"she said.
The woman told the incident to someone who works with Aditya Chopra. He asked her for proofs and then showed him the last email from Ashish. "He changed his tone and said that Adi likes Patil and he usually will not take any action because things like these happen here. And if I choose to complain, I should be prepared that atleast 80% of the industry won't work with me or entertain me..."