New Delhi: Renowned music composer Anu Malik became the latest one to get embroiled in the MeToo movement. Several Bollywood biggies such as Subhash Ghai, Vikas Bahl, Nana Patekar, Alok Nath among others have been named by female co-workers as sexual harassers.
Singer Sona Mohapatra, who is known for her firebrand statements was among the first ones to accuse Anu Malik of sexual harassment. She had shared her experience but received backlash on social media.
The ‘Ambarsariya’ singer in an interview with Timesofindia.com opened up how the music composer did sexually harass her. She even talked about fellow singer Shweta Pandit’s allegation against Malik.
Sona said, “The point is, I shared my experiences, because it was my story to share and it is not in my place to share other fory stories that are an open secret in the industry. That would be conjecture, speculation and gossip. When people think that I have a right to speak up only when I’m raped or something equally serious happens to me, I will say, ‘You are the reason why serial predators get awat’. That he didn’t do worse with me doesn’t indicate anything. I say this to the naysayers, ‘You are the ones who normalise this abhorrent behaviour and system’. Anu Malik’s behaviour with me was sexual harassment. There’s no doubt about it. I blocked his number and chose not to work with the likes of him. I was lucky to find fewer, but good allies in the industry.”
Singer Shweta Pandit, a few days back accused Malik of sexually harassing her when she was only 14 and a minor. She shared her #MeToo story via a tweet and expressed revealed how the reality show judge harassed her back in 2001.
Sona Mohapatra backed Shweta and told Timesofindia.com, “I stand by Shweta Pandit. It takes a lot of guts and integrity to come out and share a deeply traumatic experience, which has no benefit other than being personally cathartic. Those who accuse her of doing it for publicity and saying sick things like—’What’s wrong with just a kiss?’ etc. do not have any idea of personal and professional ethics or boundaries. Also, India needs to note that Shweta was a minor and she was 14 years old. That this man judges a reality show year after year, surrounded by vulnerable youngsters and their parents, scares me to no end.”
The #MeToo movement in Bollywood started after Tanushree Dutta accused senior actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassment while they were shooting for ‘Horn Ok Pleassss’ in 2008. The actress alleged that the incident took place when they were filming a dance sequence.