In the wake of the #MeToo movement last year, Bollywood filmmaker Vikas Bahl was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee of the erstwhile company Phantom Films, following which he had to step down as the director of Hrithik Roshan's upcoming venture 'Super 30'. However, recently, he was recently given a clean chit from the internal complaints committee of Reliance Entertainment and now is announced to be credited back as the director of the film.
The news has caused a huge stir in the industry instigating a massive debate. Recently, singer Sona Mohapatra who has been one of the strongest voices supporting the movement has also come forward to express her opinion. Sona slammed the decision of the institution and accused them of covering up the truth.
Criticizing the decision hugely on social media, Sona tweeted, "The fraternity, filmmakers, crews, actors & all participants of this industry who know the truth should stand up & want to clean up this open secret of a mess? This is a systemic issue. Rehabilitation of such men will harm us all. Their disease will show up sooner or later."
Here's the post:
Meanwhile, former actress Tanushree Dutta who has been the pioneer of the #MeToo campaign also expressed her disappointment over Bahl being cleared of all the charges. As per media reports, she questioned the right of the organization to give a clean chit to the accused when police investigations of such cases are still pending.
The actress reportedly further stated that it has become a new trend of putting out news stories by these accusers about being given clean chits by strange organizations that will help them to get back to work.
Vikas Bahl stepped down as the helmer of 'Super 30' after completing almost ninety percent of the film. A female employee of Phantom Films, which had been dissolved over creative differences in October 2018, before the #Metoo controversy erupted in the same month, had alleged that Bahl touched her inappropriately and masturbated on her in a hotel room after a party during a work trip in Goa in 2015.
Anurag Kashyap, one of the partners in Phantom, had confirmed that the incident did take place, and stated that he ‘named and shamed’ Bahl long back, but also that according to terms of their contract, there was no provision to remove him as the partner of the company.
Even the other partner, director Vikramaditya Motwane termed Bahl a ‘sexual offender’ and also stated that they tried to take action against him. Bahl had then sent defamation notices to both the filmmakers.
In fact, Hrithik had firmly said that he can't and won't work with a proven offender when the allegations against him first came out.
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