After actress Payal Ghosh accused Anurag Kashyap of sexual misconduct, several celebrities from the industry have come forward to support the filmmaker, saying #MeToo movement should not be misused.
“It is the joint responsibility of women and men both to carefully protect the sanctity of #Metooindia … It is a very very very important movement that should not be misused for any other reason but the dignity of women,” filmmaker Anubhav Sinha wrote on Twitter while tagging Kashyap.
Actress Tisca Chopra wrote: “To know my friend Anurag Kashyap is to know generosity, honesty and decency at its core.. even a cursory look at his work reveals his worldview on women.. don’t know a bigger supporter of talent, men or women.”
Payal has alleged that Anurag tried to molest her in 2014, while Kashyap has reacted saying the charge is baseless.
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta also came forward to support Kashyap through a string of tweets.
“I’ve known Anurag since 1996. He was always rebellious. He was always outspoken. He was always passionate about cinema and his friendships. He had a point of view and I often disagreed with it. That did not change our relationship. In 24 years nothing has changed,” he wrote, adding: “I take accusations of sexual harassment seriously and when I heard this young woman accuse Anurag I was extremely disturbed. He is a friend, like a younger sibling and somebody who has been with me through some rough times. He can be brash. He can be stupid.”
Mehta said that he refuses to believe that Kashyap can be a “sexual harasser”.
“As I write this I’m pained, troubled and full of questions. For one the timing of leveling these accusations. Then the tagging of our hon’ble PM. This happening at a time when Anurag often against advice has been outspoken and provided a contrarian view on things happening around us. Is he making some people uncomfortable? There are so many questions and they are not necessarily about the allegations leveled against AK,” he added.
Mehta went on to question if “this a witch-hunt yet again? Are they trying to shut up an artist with a dissenting opinion? Where are we headed?”
He shared: “And then after hearing the accusation – can this even be Anurag? it is definitely not the Anurag I know. But ultimately truth must prevail. Lies and falsities in such a matter will be a huge disservice to many women out there who are regularly subjected to sexual harassment and abuse (something Anurag has vociferously fought against) and are unable to raise their voices.”
“For their sake and for the sake of punishing every sexual predator out there, I hope truth prevails above all other petty agenda and momentary social media gratification. The #Metoo movement is way too important. Let every victim out there always be heard and justice be done,” Mehta added.
“But in the process let there be no injustice to those who are merely targets of vendetta and vested interests. Let the #Metoo movement itself not become a target of abuse for somebody’s selfish gains. I am still troubled as I write this. I do hope better sense prevails,” he added.
Mehta continued: “Anurag, I know you don’t need my support, certification or validation. I know you are a tough cookie. But I had to write this nevertheless. This is not a letter of support. This is a plea for truth and for a just outcome.”
Actress Surveen Chawla, who worked with the filmmaker on the web series “Sacred Games”, termed the claims bizarre.
She wrote: “Let them creep.. Let them crawl.. U my friend… As always stand tall… These false flag bearers of feminism…. Opportunism??? They dont honour men like u, for their lack of knowledge in knowing know who u really are, And claims they make that are just so bizarre.”
“Ur life, ur work and the women u create with ur craft… speak volumes about u. I have the privilege to know the real feminist in u, I take the honour my friend to stand for u,” she added.
Filmmaker Vasan Bala wrote: “Anurag Kashyap, first to admit to his flaws and first to fiercely defend himself when he is right. Many a times he has fought for many voiceless strangers. He only did it because he thought no one else will and he was right because no one else does.”
Earlier in the day, Kashyap’s “Manmarziyaan” heroine Taapsee Pannu lent her support by calling Kashyap the “biggest feminist” she knows.
“For you, my friend, are the biggest feminist I know. See you on the sets soon of yet another piece of art that shows how powerful and significant women are in the world you create,” Taapsee wrote on Instagram. –IANS/sug/vnc