In the wake of MeToo movement in India, Rajkumar Hirani is the latest celebrated filmmaker who has been accused of sexually assault by a woman crew on multiple occasions for six months during the making of his blockbuster film Sanju. Following the allegations, Fox Star India, which has signed a three-film deal with VVC (Vidhu Vinod Chopra) Films, has reportedly put Munna Bhai 3, which is currently in its pre-production stage, on hold till Hirani gets a clean chit.
Accusing Hirani of sexual harassment from March to September 2018, the woman had also informed Sanju co-producer, Vidhu Vinod Chopra about the alleged misconduct in an email to him on November 3, 2018.
Chopra's wife Anupama, scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi and Chopra's sister Shelly were also marked in the email. In her email, the woman stated that on April 9, 2018 Hirani for the first time made an inappropriate remark to her, following which he sexually assaulted her at his home-office.
"In a meeting in late December, it was decided that Fox would pull the plug on Munna Bhai 3 if Hirani was found guilty. The studio stands in solidarity with the survivor. VVC Films too has taken the matter seriously, and dropped Hirani's name from the promotional material of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga," a source from Star India was quoted as saying by Mid-Day.
The source further added, "An ICC set up by VVC Films will investigate the matter. Munna Bhai 3, however, by default, is on hold till Hirani gets a clean chit."
Meanwhile, Hirani has completely denied the allegations, and stressed that he had a professional relationship with the woman. He also showed the Huffington Post a printout of an email he had sent to Chopra not only denying the allegations, but also showing willingness to be investigated by an independent body. He also reportedly showed text messages between him and the woman that were exchanged during those six months to prove the two had just a professional relationship.