Ever since filmmaker Sajid Khan has entered the Bigg Boss house, he has been facing flak from the viewers over allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by several women during the #MeToo movement. Now, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal wrote to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur seeking the ouster of filmmaker Sajid Khan from reality show.
'Undue opportunity to whitewash his wrongs'
In her letter, Maliwal pointed out that Sajid Khan's participation in the popular reality show "gives him an undue opportunity to whitewash his wrongs and be re-launched amongst Indian audiences."
"Ten women had accused Sajid Khan of sexual harassment during the #MeToo movement. All these complaints show the disgusting mentality of Sajid. Now, this man has been given a place in Bigg Boss, which is wrong. I have written to @ianuragthakur to have Sajid Khan removed from this show," Maliwal said in a tweet.
She noted that though there is a public outcry against the filmmaker's participation in the show, the makers are clearly giving a deaf ear to that as they apparently gain TRP ratings and viewership due to the ensuing controversy. Maliwal said, "The allegations against Sajid Khan are extremely serious in nature and should be investigated at the earliest. Under no circumstances such alleged sexual offenders should be promoted on national television and OTT platforms."
'It is important for the government to take a stand'
The DCW chief also said that Sajid Khan's inclusion in the show underlines that men who enjoy clout in the entertainment industry easily get away with abusive acts without facing any consequences. "It also disrespects and invalidates those women who spoke out against his inappropriate sexual advances. They are upcoming celebrities in Bollywood and risked their careers to come forward and complain against abuse by an authority figure," she added.
This, in her letter, Maliwal has requested Thakur to intervene in the matter and take necessary action to ensure Sajid Khan is removed from the show. "It is important for the government to take a stand in the matter and support the vulnerable in this situation," she said.
In 2018, Sajid Khan was suspended for a year by the Indian Film and Television Directors' Association (IFTDA) after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment. Earlier that year, he also stepped down as director of "Housefull 4" and was replaced by Farhad Samji.