AKSHAY CANCELS HOUSEFULL 4 SHOOT, SAJID STEPS DOWN
#Metoo: Sajid Khan, now the film’s former director, faces harassment charge, besides cast member Nana Patekar
The biggest casualty of Bollywood’s #Metoo movement so far has been the film Housefull 4. While actor Akshay Kumar cancelled the October 12 shoot of the film after grave sexual harassment allegations against the film’s director Sajid Khan surfaced on Thursday, later in the day Sajid tweeted he was stepping down as director till he cleared his name.
On his return from Italy, Akshay tweeted on Friday, “I’ve just landed back in the country last night and reading all the news has been very disturbing. I have requested the producers of Housefull 4 to cancel the shoot until further investigation. This is something that requires stringent action. I will not work with any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve.” The shoot was to be in Mumbai.
Soon after Sajid tweeted: “In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer n the stars of my film Housefull 4, I must take moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth.. I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgment till the truth is out.”
A source close to the production house told HT that Akshay’s decision also involved the consideration that one of the actors in the under-production film is Nana Patekar, who was also accused of sexual harassment by Tanushree Dutta.
“Akshay has never cancelled a shoot in his 28year career. This is the first time he decided to do so, as the #Metoo movement can’t be ignored. Allegations made against Sajid and Nana are both serious and grave,” the source said.
On Thursday, actor Rachel White, assistant director Saloni Chopra and journalist Karishma Upadhyay shared their tales of sexual harassment by Sajid.
Akshay’s wife Twinkle Khanna expressed shock. “Appalled hearing multiple incidents of harassment and it is truly horrific to hear what these women have been through. Everyone involved in Housefull needs to take a firm stance on this issue. This cannot go on,” she tweeted.
Meanwhile Sajid’s cousin, actor Farhan Akhtar, who had earlier supported Tanushree’s claims, on Friday tweeted his disappointment, “I don’t know how but he will have to find a way to atone for his alleged actions.”
I will not work with any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve.
AKSHAY KUMAR, ACTOR,
IN A TWEET