Ajay Devgn
Ajay Devgn.Varinder Chawla

At a time when Ajay Devgn has been facing flak for having rape accused Alok Nath in his upcoming film De De Pyaar De, the actor has issued a statement clarifying his stand.

Tanushree Dutta, who was the pioneer of #MeToo movement in India, had slammed Ajay for working with Alok Nath in the film despite the latter being a rape accused. Several others including Kangana Ranaut's sister Rangoli Chandel had also criticised the actor for the same reason.

Taking note of the angry reactions coming in on social media, Ajay issued a statement clarifying that the movie was shot with Nath before he was accused of rape. He also said that re-shooting the entire schedule with a different actor would not have been possible for financial and other reasons, and it was a collective decision taken by the makers of the film. He also added that he genuinely stand by the #MeToo movement.

"When the entire #MeToo Movement happened, I along with many of my film industry colleagues categorically expressed that I respect every single woman at the work place and I would not stand for any unfairness or atrocity against them. Nothing about my stand has changed. Coming to the question of having worked with Mr Alok Nath in my upcoming film De De Pyar De, here I must put certain things in perspective."

"This film was supposed to be an October 2018 release. The shoot of the film got over by last September. The portions with Mr. Alok Nath were canned by August in Manali. The said portions were shot over 40 days across various sets and an outdoor location with a combination of over 10 actors. By the time the allegations came out (in October 2018) the actors in the film including me had already started work on other films. It would be near impossible to get all the dates and combinations of the several actors in the film and attempt a re-shoot with some other actor replacing Mr Nath. It would also have been a huge monetary loss for the producers. Everyone is aware that film-making is a collaborative process. The decision to replace Mr Alok Nath could never have been mine alone. In this case, I would have to go with the joint-decision of the entire unit. Not to forget, I could not have brought the entire combination of actors back or put up sets again for a 40-day re-shoot because this would mean doubling the budget, which again wasn't my call to make. It would have to be the call of the makers. Had circumstances played out even slightly differently, I would have pushed for a different combination of actors. Unfortunately, this was not to be."

"I reiterate I am extremely sensitive to the #MeToo movement. But when circumstances are beyond me, I don't see  This is untrue," Ajay said in the statement.

Tanushree had earlier called slammed Ajay saying that the industry is full of "liars and spineless hypocrites". Kangana's sister had also supported Tanushree's words.