Women Filmmakers Join #MeToo Movement


Sunday brought a decisive move in India’s #MeToo movement in the entertainment industry. Eleven prominent women filmmakers issued a joint statement announcing they would never work with any proven sexual offender.

The signatories include Zoya Akhtar, Nandita Das, Konkona Sen Sharma, Meghna Gulzar, Gauri Shinde, Kiran Rao, Reema Kagti, Alankrita Shrivastava, Nitya Mehra, Ruchi Narain and Shonali Bose. “As women and filmmakers, we come together to support the #MeToolndia movement. We are in complete solidarity with the women who have come forward with honest accounts of harassment and assault. Our respect and admiration to them as their courage has started a revolution of welcome change,” the statement read.

“We are here to spread awareness to help create a safe and equal atmosphere for all in the workplace. We have also taken a stand to not work with proven offenders. We urge all our peers in the industry to do the some,” they said.

In a parallel account, writer-director Tahira Kashyap, wife of actor Ayushmann Khurrana, posted her personal account of childhood abuse saying that sometimes “relatives can be the real creeps.” “Often the closest people, especially the relatives in your life

(those whom everyone trusts), are the real creeps. I know how it feels to be violated and stifled for years altogether and how the memories make one shudder,” Kashyap tweeted. She found solace 20 years later, after confiding in her parents and her husband.

She said, “Please do not feel ashamed to expose the transgressor and most of all we haven’t brought it upon ourselves as women, teenagers, adolescents. And in my case, being a child. I urge you to not stay silent.”

She had a word of appreciation for men who are encouraging women to speak up. “Not all men think this way. When I see men giving a big push to this movement, I know the battle isn’t lost,” Kashyap wrote.

Meanwhile, Versova police started a probe into the complaint application that they received on Saturday night from actor-model Kate Sharma alleging molestation by producer-director Subhash Ghai. “No FIR has been registered. Based on the probe report, further action will be decided,” said senior inspector Ravindra Badgujar. Sharma alleged that Ghai threatened to not launch her in his picture if she left his house that day.

Ghai tweeted in response: “I am a great supporter of the #MeToo movement and women empowerment but I hope that those taking undue advantage of the movement do not end up diluting it for their own short time fame. I feel grief if some one trying to harm my reputation. Anyway my lawyers will take care of the matter.”