Sony Shows Anu Malik Exit Door Following Outrage, Again
As soon as Sony TV announced that music composer Anu Malik will return as a judge in a reality singing show for youngsters, Sona Mohapatra outraged against Sony TV’s action of reinstating Malik despite several women alleging sexual harassment by him. Today, the channel has reportedly ousted Malik once again after last year, Malik had to step down from the jury of Indian Idol 10. The National Commission of Women took cognizance of Mohapatra’s several tweets, in which she questioned the channel management on their act and several other celebrities who promoted the show and sent a notice to the channel.
The NCW shared the notice on their Twitter profile and captioned it, “@NCWIndia has taken Suo-Motu cognizance of this matter and sent a notice to Sony Entertainment Television @sharmarekha @MinistryWCD @PMOIndia.”
The commission demanded a clarification from the channel on the action they have taken after Mohapatra’s tweets. “The National Commission for Women has come across a Twitter post of Ms Sona Mohapatra wherein it has been alleged that Sony TV has ignored the testimonies of multiple women against a person regarding sexual harassment and assault has further been made a judge for youngsters on national television,” the notice addressed to Rohit Gupta, president, Sony Entertainment Television read.
Mohapatra also thanked her supporters on Twitter as she wrote, “Thank you to all the women & men & the media of India who supported our campaign #MoveOutMalik. A repeat offender like Anu Malik on national TV triggered a lot of trauma, pain & stress in many of our lives. I have been ill for a while & I hope to sleep well tonight.”
Just before the news of Malik’s ouster from the show was revealed in the public domain, Mohapatra also wrote an open letter to Women and Child Development minister Smriti Irani in which she thanked her for her initiative of creating a database of sexual offenders online named in the MeToo movement. However, she probed about what would happen to organisations that hire him despite the allegations?
On November 15, Malik responded to the allegations of sexual harassment for the first time since they started to pour in since last year. He called them “false and unverified allegations” as he went on to say that he is in a “dark space” and demands justice.
After Sony TV re-hired Malik to be a judge in the 11 edition of Indian Idol and celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar and Anand Mahindra promoted the show on Twitter, Mohapatra responded to these celebrities in a series of tweets questioning them if the trauma of the survivors who alleged sexual misconduct by Malik does not affect them? Singer Neha Bhasin also came forward and alleged that Malik also sexual misbehaved with her when she was just 21. “Anu Malik is a predator, I too have run away from his strange moves when I was 21. I didn’t let myself get into a sticky situation beyond him lying on a sofa in front of me talking about my eyes in a studio,” she said in a tweet.
“Thank you to all the women & men & the media of India who supported our campaign #MoveOutMalik . A repeat offender like Anu Malik on national tv triggered a lot of trauma, pain & stress in many of our lives. I have been ill for a while & I hope to sleep well tonight.”
Malik’s named surfaced as an alleged sexual harasser for the first time in October last year as Mohapatra accused him. After Mohapatra, several other women like Shweta Pandit, Caralise Monteiro, Danica D’Souza, two anonymous women etc. have also alleged Malik of sexually inappropriate behaviour. Singer Alisha Chinai, who has been a co-judge with Malik on Indian Idol 10, also supported the accusers of Malik by saying that she believes every word they said. After the allegations last year, Sony TV dropped Malik from judging the show. However, nine months later in July this year, he has been reinstated in a children reality music show called “Superstar Singers.”
Picture credit: India Today