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Citing #MeToo, Aamir pulls out of Mogul

By Rediff Movies
Last updated on: October 11, 2018 16:52 IST
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Bhushan Kumar sacks Subhash Kapoor as director of the Gulshan Kumar biopic.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao have decided to 'step away' from their next production venture.

Aamir Khan, who is busy promoting Thugs Of Hindostan, had earlier confirmed he was producing the Gulshan Kumar biopic, tentatively titled Mogul.

The film was to be directed by Subhash Kapoor who was accused of molestation by actress Geetika Tyagi in 2014.

On Wednesday, October 10, Aamir issued a statement on Twitter, in which he stated that his production company Aamir Khan Productions has a 'zero tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour of any kind.'

Here is what Aamir stated:

'As creative people we have been committed to foregrounding and finding solutions to social issues, and at Aamir Khan Productions we have always had a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour of any kind.'

'We strongly condemn any act of sexual harassment, and equally we condemn any and all false accusations in such cases.'

'Two weeks ago, when traumatic #MeToo stories began emerging, it was brought to our attention that someone we were about to begin work with has been accused of sexual misconduct. Upon enquiry we found that this particular case is subjudice, and that the legal process is in motion.'

'We are not an investigative agency nor are we in any position to pass judgement on anyone -- that is for the police and judiciary to do.'

'So, without costing any aspersions on anyone involved in this case, and without coming to any conclusions about these specific allegations, we have decided to step away from this film.'

'We do not want our action to reflect in any manner on the people involved in this case.'

'We believe that this is on opportunity for the film industry to introspect and take concrete steps towards change.'

'For far too long women have faced the brunt of sexual exploitation. It has to stop. In this regard we are committed to doing any and everything to make our film industry a safe and happy one to work in.'

Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan



Understand, respect Aamir's decision: Subhash Kapoor

Director Subhash Kapoor says he understands and respects Aamir Khan's decision to exit the Gulshan Kumar biopic.

Co-Producer Bhushan Kumar -- on whose father Gulshan Kumar's life Mogul is based -- revealed that Kapoor has been removed from the project.

'He (Aamir) doesn't want to work with Subhash Kapoor because of his unfinished case,' Bhushan Kumar told PTI.

Asked if T-Series would work with Kapoor, Bhushan Kumar, who owns the T-Series company, said, 'No.. We won't. We are not making (the film) with him.'

Reacting to Khan's announcement, Kapoor told PTI, "I understand and respect Aamir Khan's and Kiran Rao's decision. Since the matter is sub judice, I intend to prove my innocence in the court of law."

Geetika Tyagi, who has appeared in films like One By Two, Aatma, What the Fish, accused Kapoor of molesting her.

In April 2014, Tyagi filed a complaint with the Versova police station, north west Mumbai, alleging that Kapoor had tried to rape her two years earlier.

Kapoor was arrested and released on bail.

In a 2014 video, which was apparently shot with a hidden camera, Tyagi is seen slapping Kapoor.

The director, best known for Jolly LLB films, questioned Tyagi's motives of posting the video on the Internet.

'Is secretly filming a crying woman without her consent and knowledge and uploading it on social media not harassment or abuse? Or is it fine if she is related to someone who is 'allegedly accused' of misconduct? If your answer is the latter, then for me it's nothing less then a khap panchayat mentality,' Kapoor said.


'They had the courage to come out and take names'

There were always whispers in the industry about allegations of sexual harassment against Vikas Bahl, says Arjun Kapoor who is shocked that it happened at Phantom Films, a production banner which was viewed as a torchbearer of change in cinema.

Bahl is accused of sexual harassment by a former employee of Phantom Films formed by Bahl, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena.

The company was dissolved last week amid allegations that Kashyap and Motwane did not address the issue, a claim both deny.

"There was speculation in the industry," Arjun said. "There were certain people who knew the reality within the office (Phantom Films). The hearsay doesn't allow us the power to do something when people within the office are not doing something."

"It is like when there is a robbery happening in your house, the neighbour can't file the complaint."

As part of India's #MeToo movement personalities like Nana Patekar, Alok Nath, Rajat Kapoor, Vikas Bahl and Kailash Kher have been accused of sexual harassment.

Asked if he would collaborate with people who have been named, Arjun said, "People who are named are not going to be able to roam around easily. It is going to be a different environment."

Women have come out and spoken and one needs to hear them, respect and understand what they have been through, he said.

"Whether one takes, ten years or 20 years, it is not important. They can take 30 years or three minutes. The fact that they had the courage to come out and take names is commendable. They are in a vulnerable position and we need to let them put everything out," the actor, who has three sisters, said.

"I would like to say when a woman is going through something like this, they don't look for evidence. You have to support them. 99.9 per cent of the women will be speaking the truth. It doesn't suit them to malign their own life and somebody else's."

"There is a big difference between social decorum and being friends or wanting to be physically intimate with a man and that blur of lines only Indian men seem to have. It is a big problem that we don't seem to comprehend when a woman is being nice to you."

"That blur has caused a lot of damage. The demarcation is now needed when a woman says No, it is a No."

Additional inputs: PTI

Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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