The latest name in the Me Too movement in India is that of Bollywood producer and T-Series head honcho Bhushan Kumar. He has been accused by an anonymous woman on Twitter of asking for sexual favours for a three-film contract with his company.
Bhushan Kumar has denied the harassment allegations, saying, "I am appalled and anguished...", adding that he has maintained professionalism throughout his career and that someone is trying to defame him. Read the full statement of Bhushan Kumar on #MeToo allegations:
"I am appalled and anguished to know that my name has been dragged in this metoo by some anonymous person(s). The allegations against me are bad on the face of it. I have enjoyed an impeccable reputation and have always maintained professionalism. The tweet has been used as a tool to defame me and malign my reputation. I have taken this allegation very seriously and lodging a complaint with the cyber cell of the Mumbai Police to track the mysterious people(s) whose twitter handles have disappeared within seconds of uploading the malicious tweet. I'll take all such actions as I will be legally advised."
Bhushan Kumar's name first appeared on gossip websites after an article in Mumbai Mirror said that a young Bollywood producer is having sleepless nights because of the Me Too movement in India, and is now posting family pictures on social media to project a family man image.
Bhsuhan Kumar had on October 10 tweeted on his son's birthday with a picture, "Happy Birthday to my little bundle of joy, Ruhaan! He fills this family with so much love. I feel like the luckiest to have Ruhaan & Divya in my life".
His wife - director Divya Khosla Kumar, and sister - singer Tulsi Kumar had also posted wishes for the little one on their Twitter. And then came this statement from Bhushan Kumar.
Happy birthday to u my dear little naughty Ruhaan? U mk me & my everyday beautiful just by being such a beautiful soul yourself? I can’t thank Dear God enough fr you?? I pray that u spread happiness & kindness in the world n always stay the way you are ♥️ love u endless my LOVE pic.twitter.com/EF2pxyhNlq— Divya Khosla Kumar (@iamDivyaKhosla) October 10, 2018
Happy Happy Birthday to our Sunshine n Angel Ruhaan☀️ May god Shower u with all Happiness n blessings always ❤️
Love T Bua pic.twitter.com/35HdkC5uYs
— Tulsi Kumar (@TulsikumarTK) October 10, 2018
Bhushan Kumar's film Mogul, a biopic on his father Gulshan Kumar, is already in trouble after Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao backed out of co-producing it, as its director Subhash Kapoor had been accused of attempted rape by actress Geetika Tyagi in 2014.
The movie Housefull 4 is also on the verge of being shelved, after Akshay Kumar cancelled the shoot and appealed to the producers to look into the sexual harassment allegations against director Sajid Khan and actor Nana Patekar, the latter being accused of harassment by actress Tanushree Dutta in a 10-year-old case.
Sajid Khan has stepped down as director of Housefull 4, after being accused of harassment by three women. He said on Twitter, "In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of my film Housefull 4, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post. Till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth... I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass the judgment till the truth is out."
After the incident, Sajid Khan's sister and filmmaker Farah Khan said in a statement on Twitter, "This is a heartbreaking time for my family.We have to work through some very difficult issues. If my brother has behaved in this manner he has a lot to atone for.I don't in any way endorse this behavior and Stand in solidarity with any woman who has been hurt."
This is a heartbreaking time for my family.We have to work through some very difficult issues. If my brother has behaved in this manner he has a lot to atone for.I don’t in any way endorse this behavior and Stand in solidarity with any woman who has been hurt.— Farah Khan (@TheFarahKhan) October 12, 2018
Actor Alok Nath has been accused of rape by screenwriter and director Vinta Nanda, and actress Sandhya Mridul has also accused him of sexual misconduct. Filmmaker Subhash Ghai has also been accused of rape and has denied the charge.
The others who have been accused of sexual abuse are actors Rohit Roy, Rajat Kapoor and Rajat Kapoor, author Chetan Bhagat, adman Suhel Seth, and many senior journalists including M.J. Akbar.