Male celebs can get ma­ligned for no fault of theirs, says Ekta on the sex­ual ha­rass­ment de­bate

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - City - - FRONT PAGE - Shreya Mukher­jee shreya.mukher­jee@htlive.com

It all started with the New York Times ex­posé on the years of sex­ual ha­rass­ment suf­fered by women at the hands of Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein — since then, the con­tro­versy around ram­pant ha­rass­ment and, in some cases, sex­ual as­sault on women has en­veloped Hol­ly­wood. Echoes of that has been heard in Bol­ly­wood, too.

Giv­ing her take on this phe­nom­e­non, tele­vi­sion and film pro­ducer Ekta Kapoor, one of the most fa­mous women in In­dian en­ter­tain­ment, says, “I am prob­a­bly the big­gest sup­porter of women, but I am also an equal­ist. I be­lieve there are sev­eral pros and cons to all th­ese [al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment be­ing lev­elled by women]. By this, I mean, I know a lot of celebri­ties who got ma­ligned last year for no fault of their own. Now that shouldn’t be the case. I, there­fore, feel that laws should be the same for men and women.”

Ekta adds, “I feel [that] in a coun­try like ours, we have to sup­port women in ev­ery way pos­si­ble. But I hope [that] no one gets ex­ploited in the process.” In her own pro­duc­tion com­pany, she tries to en­sure an at­mos­phere of open­ness and equal­ity, says the me­dia pro­ducer.

In the Har­vey We­in­stein con­tro­versy, among the first to speak out was ac­tor Ash­ley Judd. What fol­lowed were sev­eral other ac­cu­sa­tions against We­in­stein and many other men in Hol­ly­wood, and the ac­cusers in­cluded A-list fe­male ac­tors such as Gwyneth Pal­trow and An­gelina Jolie. And at the same time, the #metoo cam­paign on so­cial me­dia en­cour­aged women to re­count the sex­ual as­saults they faced, any­where and ev­ery­where.

I know celebri­ties who got ma­ligned for no fault of their own. That shouldn’t be the case. Laws should be the same [for both sexes]

EKTA KAPOOR PRO­DUCER

PHOTO: AMAL KS/HT

Ekta Kapoor says that as a me­dia pro­ducer, she tries to en­sure equal­ity

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