The sexual harassment allegations against celebrated Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and many powerful men in Hollywood including household names like Ben Affleck and Charlie Sheen has created an enormous ripple effect. The question about Weinsteins and the likes of him existing in Bollywood and the urgency to name and shame them, has gained momentum.
Producer Mukesh Bhatt, when asked about his opinion said that there cannot be a moral police outside every house to ensure women are not exploited. He also added that it is not a man’s fault always. He said that there are times when women are “blatantly shameless” and offer themselves.
While speaking with a daily, Mukesh said,
What can we do? We cannot do any moral policing. We cannot keep moral cops outside every film office to see that no girl is being exploited. I am not saying men have not been exploitative. They have been for centuries. But today’s woman is also not as simple as she pretends to be. But just as there are good men and bad men, so also there are women who are exploitative and very cunning. Also blatantly shameless to offer themselves.
However, Bhatt did not quote any examples of women being exploitative. Mukesh Bhatt’s statement made many Twitter users angry who said he was tone-deaf and contributing to the atmosphere in Bollywood where women do not feel comfortable talking about their unpleasant behaviour.
Here are a few tweets:
My brain just keeps going to the awful things said by Mukesh Bhatt in the artcile. If this was said in the West, he would need to apologise and amend comments immediately.
— Devang Pathak (@DevangPat) November 13, 2017
Mukesh Bhatt wants women to be simple. If they’re like men, they’re cunning and apparently turn into prostitutes. Lol fuck off Bollywood’s garbage men. https://t.co/4TiA3ISJ50
— Priyanka (@autumnrainwish) November 12, 2017
— Devang Pathak (@DevangPat) November 12, 2017
Mukesh Bhatt, people. Bollywood is really the worst pic.twitter.com/WfLjwH6B5W
— Mihir Sharma (@mihirssharma) November 12, 2017
Seriously what is the difference between what #MukeshBhatt said to @TIME and those third rate politicians who said women shouldn’t wear jeans, use cell phones or eat chow mein? https://t.co/RxSm4Fw80z
— Aseem Chhabra (@chhabs) November 13, 2017
Mukesh Bhatt’s deflection is classic sexual predator behaviour and not surprising since there have been whispers for decades about the Bhatts and the casting couch.
— Karthik Shankar (@kookykarthik) November 13, 2017
So women pretend to be simple but are not. After Anupam Kher, Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, we have Mukesh Bhatt. https://t.co/Oc1TOL7IIs
— arpan rai (@rai_chai) November 12, 2017
In the same Reuters report, actress Divya Unny spoke about her run-in with harassment in the showbiz business. Back in 2015, she was prepared for a meeting with an award-winning director. At 9 PM, she was called to the director’s room where he propositioned her for sex and said that making compromises was the only way enter Bollywood. Recalling her experience, the actress said she rejected the offer and the role:
You always hear of actresses getting called by directors to hotel rooms at night, but I didn’t think twice because I was going in with a reference.
Lipstick Under My Burkha director Alankrita Shrivastava said,
The way men are being called out in Hollywood right now, I don’t know if it can happen in India.
Among all the statements which featured in the report, it was only Mukesh Bhatt’s which received flak. We wonder what the producer will say on this now.
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