Kajol Backs Tanushree Dutta, Says Sexual Harassment ‘A Reality’

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Tanushree Dutta’s bold move to come out and accuse veteran actor Nana Patekar of harassment is praiseworthy. At a time when Dutta has received legal notices from Nana Patekar and Vivek Agnihotri for defamation, many Bollywood celebs have thrown their weight behind her. Actor Kajol has also shown support for Dutta.

Kajol told NDTV, “What she speaks about is definitely the reality and I wouldn’t say it’s restricted to our industry. I think it’s pretty much a concern all over, whichever field we talk about.”

She also talked about how men are also vulnerable to sexual harassment. “I’ve never seen it but I have heard about it and it’s always in rumour form. You never know it, no one is going to come up to you and say ‘Hey, I did this!’ I don’t know how much of it is actually the truth or not.”

Kajol may not have personally encountered such a harrowing incident but many in the industry like Dutta are speaking up about their past experiences.

Dutta had told Zoom TV: “Everyone knows about Nana Patekar that he has always been disrespectful towards women. People in the industry know about his background… that he has beaten actresses, he has molested them, his behaviour with women has always been crude but no publication has printed anything about it.”

Dutta’s revelations about Patekar behaving inappropriately while filming a song sequence over a decade ago defines Bollywood’s #MeToo movement. When she refused to comply, goons were reportedly sent after her.

“Most importantly, the whole point of the #MeToo movement is so that you can stand up for yourself even if not on a public platform. You need to stand up for yourself. You see people stand up for themselves and you stand up for yourself wherever you are,” Kajol emphasized.

The controversy didn’t stop there. After Dutta’s allegations about Patekar surfaced, she also claimed similar harassment by Chocolate director Vivek Agnihotri during the making of the film.

“I was wearing a towel on my costume and standing behind the camera. This guy (Vivek Agnihotri) wanted me to give cues to an actor (Irrfan). It was an actor’s close-up. It was not even my shot. I was not even going to be in the shot. It was the actor’s close-up and he had to just look at something and give expressions. This director, he told me, ‘Jao jaake kapde utaar ke naacho, usko cues do,’” she narrated, India Today reported.

However, Irrfan reportedly handled the situation. “The male actor had to shoot back at the director saying, ‘I don’t need her to take off her coat and dance for me to give facial expressions’. This was Irrfan Khan. I really appreciated that he actually spoke up like that,” Tanushree revealed.

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She explained: “It was his (Irrfan’s) close-up shot. I’m not in the frame. He had to look at me and give some expressions. Why do I have to dance in front of him for him to give expressions in his close-up shot? This director tells me ‘jao jaake kapde utaar ke naacho’. I was shocked!”

Likewise actor Renuka Shahane too supported Tanushree Dutta, posting on Facebook: “Tanushree made it clear that she was uncomfortable with a certain step in the dance and did not like Nana’s gesture/touch during that step. Even if Nana’s intentions might not have been to molest her, couldn’t he, the director and the choreographer come up with a step that made her feel comfortable? Is the workplace meant for terrorising people or about working in a healthy atmosphere?”

A lot of Bollywood actors have come forward to talk about this issue:

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