Bollywood’s #MeToo Uprising Engulfs Rajat KapoorNaman RamachandranNaman Ramachandran is International Correspondent at Variety, based out of London and Asia, a critic for Sight & Sound, and a fortnightly columnist on world cinema for The Hindu. Naman’s work as an author includes "Rajinikanth: The Definitive Biography" (Penguin), "Lights, Camera, Masala: Making Movies In Mumbai" (IBH) and chapters in "Rough Guide To Film" (Rough Guides), "Movies: From The Silent Classics Of The Silver Screen To The Digital and 3D Era" (Universe) and "Movie Star Chronicles: A Visual History of 320 of the World's Greatest Movie Stars" (Peregrine). He has previously worked with the British Film Institute, Cineuropa, HBO Asia and MTV India. He is a BAFTA member.
Leading Indian actor and director, Rajat Kapoor (“Ankhon Dekhi”) is the latest man caught up in the wave of sexual misbehavior allegations that has been swept Bollywood in recent days. Kapoor, who was accused of inappropriate behavior with three separate women, has apologized on Twitter.
“All my life I have tried to be a decent man, to do the right thing. If however, I have slipped and through my actions or words caused pain or hurt or trauma to absolutely anybody, please accept my apology,” Kapoor tweeted.
Kapoor followed up with another tweet that said: “I am sorry from the bottom of my heart- and sad that I was the cause of this hurt to another human being. If there is one thing more important to me than even my work, it is to be a good human being. And I have tried to be that person. And now, I will try harder.”
The Kapoor incident went viral on social media after an Indian journalist posted screenshots of her conversations with the alleged victims.
On Saturday, details of allegations against filmmaker Vikas Bahl (“Queen”) emerged. Phantom Films, in which Bahl partnered with Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena, was dissolved the same day.
Kangana Ranaut, star of “Queen”, told the Indian media that during the film’s shoot, Bahl bragged about having casual sex with different partners every day, even though he was married at the time. She also alleged that Bahl would hug her overly tightly. Fellow Indian actress, Sonam Kapoor (“Veere Di Wedding”) said that she found Ranaut hard to believe.
Industry reactions are ongoing. The Mumbai Film Festival announced the cancellation of certain screenings. “We as an Academy (MAMA) strongly support the #MeToo movement. In light of recent developments, we have decided to drop certain films from our lineup – AIB’s ‘Chintu Ka Birthday’ and Rajat Kapoor’s ‘Kadakh.’ We want to use this opportunity to open up the conversation and find solutions to harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace. Starting with this edition of the festival, we would like to unite the community to find positive and constructive ways to deal with it.”