In the wake of #MeToo allegations against Sajid Khan, the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) has suspended the filmmaker for one year. The sexual harassment allegations against Sajid Khan surfaced in October when several women, including actors Saloni Chopra and Rachel White and journalist Karishma Upadhyay called out the director for his alleged misbehaviour.
Soon after the allegations started coming out actors Dia Mirza and Bipasha Basu along with Lara Dutta's husband Mahesh Bhupathi too spoke about the director for his alleged misbehaviour with female colleagues on various film sets.
After reviewing the case, in a statement to Indian Express, IFTDA President Ashoke Pandit said, “The committee investigated the complaints in the spirit of POSH Act and in compliance of principles of sexual harassment, unwelcome sexually determined behaviour, unwarranted contact by poking and advances, demands for sexual favours and abuse of power by Sajid Khan."
He further added, "Mr Sajid Khan was given an opportunity to put forth his defence. He did not give any explanation, response or defence to the allegations of sexual harassment, unwelcome sexually determined behaviour, poking at the girls and asking the girls to seduce or strip or to show cleavage and other sexual misconduct and thereby traumatised them mentally and emotionally. Mr Sajid Khan did not accept the sexual molestation of the complainants but admitted that his behaviour and language was impolite, he had been brash and used abusive language with his friends which included boys and girls. He admitted that he had sex relations with girls, but with their consent."
Mr Sajid Khan was given an opportunity to put forth his defence. He did not give any explanation, response or defence to the allegations.
IFTDA has asked Sajid an explanation for his alleged offensive behaviour.
Earlier Sajid Khan issued a statement on Twitter denying all the chargers, “In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of the film Housefull 4, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth. I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgment till the truth is out,” according to news18.com.
Sajid Khan was replaced by Farhad Samji has the director of Housefull 4.
Feature Image credit: Hindustan Times