An actress has accused Soumik Sen - screenwriter and director of Emraan Hashmi starrer Cheat India - of sexual harassment on the film sets. She has also accused the film's producer Atul Kasbekar, who is known for his female-oriented films like Neerja and Tumhari Sulu, of turning a blind eye towards the incident which allegedly took place in front of him.
In a long Twitter post, the actress narrated how Soumik used to often express his desire of seeing her and her female colleagues enacting lesbian scenes.
"He would often narrate unnatural sex scenes and would suggest how we would be apt to play the parts, all in the presence of Atul Kasbekar who would be flaunting a huge grin on his face. He would also read out erotic poems between scenes," the actress said.
When the actress retaliated and complained about Soumik's indecent behaviour, she was warned that she would be thrown out of the film if she creates a fuss about it. She further added that Atul Kasbekar, who was also a part of the discussion, remained silent and paid no heed to her complaints.
She called Soumik and Atul Kasbekar sleaze bags who harass women with their powerplay.
A few days ago, a woman had accused Soumik of sexual harassment and a senior media professional, Chandraye Sarkar, levelled charges against the screenwriter of sending her lewd messages over a series of days in 2012.
After getting accused of sexual misconduct, Soumik apologised for his actions. "There have been certain allegations levelled against me. If anyone has been hurt by any of my conversations in the past, I am sorry. It was never my intention to offend. I will be mindful of any future interactions," he tweeted.
Read the actress' encounter with Soumik Sen and Atul Kasbekar from the set of Cheat India here.
"The last few weeks have been emotionally draining for me and my former colleagues by reading the various nauseating accounts of sexual harassment survivors. The many voices have given me the courage and made me hopeful that no longer is the sexual exploitation at the hands of the high and mighty seen as a casual occurrence in the Entertainment industry. With hope and confidence that the industry will take a strong stand against sexual predators, I say #MeToo.
I'm an actress and look forward to continue my dream of acting while in a safe working environment. My most recent experience of working with Atul Kasbekar and Soumik Sen on the film Cheat India has been rather disturbing. While on sets and in the vanity vans, Soumik would often talk about wanting to see me and my female colleagues enact scenes for a lesbian web series for Netflix. He would often narrate unnatural sex scenes and would suggest how we would be apt to play the parts, all in the presence of Atul Kasbekar who would be flaunting a huge grin on his face. He would also read out erotic poems between scenes. One such encounter had me loosing my cool and asking Soumik to backoff, I was sternly warned that if I fuss about such things I would be thrown out of Cheat India. The producer Atul who was also a part of the discussion, chose to keep silent and took no action even when I displayed my discomfort. The film has wrapped and I have sworn to never work with Shoumik or Atul ever again. They are sleaze bags who harass women with their powerplay.
The past few weeks, I've interacted with women who have had worse experiences with Atul Kasbekar. Unfortunately, the encounters had them giving up and relocating to start afresh in other countries abroad. As for me, the #MeToo movement leaves me with a hope where aspiring professionals like me will be given opportunities based on our talent and not sexual favours."
After gathering a lot of courage, against the advice of my well wishers, I've finally mustered the courage of anonymously share my encounter with Shoumik Sen and Atul Kasbekar from the set of #CheatIndia. #MeToo @IndiaMeToo pic.twitter.com/iZkXBHSejq— anonymouslyy2018 (@anonymouslyy201) October 18, 2018
Meanwhile, Ellipsis Entertainment - founded by Atul Kasbekar and former Balaji Motion Pictures CEO Tanuj Garg, have released a statement saying that they will be filing a complaint with the cyber crime cell against the anonymous Twitter account.