#MeToo Power: Aamir walks out of Mogul

The ac­tor steps away from the Gul­shan Ku­mar biopic due to sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions against its di­rec­tor

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - City - - FRONT PAGE -

In the past few weeks, the #MeToo move­ment in In­dia has been gain­ing steam. And in the wake of it, ac­tor­film­maker Aamir Khan has de­cided to “step away” from the Gul­shan Ku­mar biopic, Mogul. The de­ci­sion was made due to al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct against the film’s di­rec­tor-writer Sub­hash Kapoor. He was ac­cused of mo­lesta­tion by ac­tor Geetika Tyagi in 2014.

Aamir, who was co­pro­duc­ing the film, made a state­ment along with wife Ki­ran Rao, an­nounc­ing his de­ci­sion on Twit­ter late Wed­nes­day evening. Though the state­ment did not men­tion the project and the per­son’s name, it said, “we have al­ways had a zero-tol­er­ance pol­icy towards sex­ual mis­con­duct”, and af­ter “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 sub ju­dice, and that the le­gal process is in mo­tion... So, with­out cast­ing 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.”

Re­act­ing to the de­ci­sion, Sub­hash tweeted, “I un­der­stand and re­spect Aamir Khan’s and Ki­ran Rao’s de­ci­sion. Since mat­ter is sub­ju­dice, I in­tend to prove my in­no­cence in the court of law. But I do want to raise a ques­tion - is se­cretly film­ing a cry­ing woman with­out her con­sent and knowl­edge and up­load­ing it on so­cial me­dia not har­rass­ment or abuse? Or is it fine if she is re­lated to some­one who is “al­legedly ac­cused” of mis­con­duct. If your an­swer is lat­ter then for me it’s noth­ing less then a khaap pan­chayat men­tal­ity (sic).”

The film’s co-pro­ducer, Bhushan Ku­mar, told In­dian Ex­press that his com­pany, TSeries, will not be as­so­ci­ated with Sub­hash be­cause of the al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against him and that “you can un­der­stand from his (Aamir’s) tweet he has noth­ing against us”. He added that he couldn’t com­ment if Aamir will come back on board af­ter Sub­hash’s exit.

PHOTO: YOGEN SHAH

Aamir Khan

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