Bolly stars render support to Tanushree Dutta’s #MeToo claim, while Bachan’s comment leaves Tanushree disappointed

Bolly stars render support to Tanushree Dutta’s #MeToo claim, while Bachan’s comment leaves Tanushree disappointed

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MUMBAI: Bollywood stars are speaking up against sexual harassment after allegations against veteran actor Nana Patekar surfaced this week, with several calling for action against perpetrators in an industry that is notorious for its exploitation of women.

Tanushree Dutta, a Bollywood actress and former Miss India, said in press interviews this week that Patekar, a veteran actor who is now 67, had harassed her on the sets of a film in 2008. Dutta had made the same allegations in 2008 and Patekar had denied them at the time.

“Back then, these incidents would be discussed only behind closed doors and not openly, as is being done now. No one supported me,” Dutta told Zoom TV in an interview.

Calls to Patekar on Friday went unanswered. But Rajendra Shirodkar, a lawyer for Patekar, threatened legal action against Dutta for making “false allegations”.

“We’ve sent her a notice for making false allegations. She should apologize to my client,” Shirodkar told Reuters. “If she doesn’t, then we shall chart a future course of action”.

Dutta alleges that Patekar wanted an “intimate step” with her in a dance number in the film “Horn OK Please”.

When she refused, Dutta alleges that Patekar called workers of a local political party who damaged her car and threatened her.

An old video of actress Tanushree Dutta’s car being vandalised while she was seated inside is doing the rounds on social media on Monday. It has been reported that the video is allegedly of the same incident in 2008 of which Tanushree spoke in her interviews – Tanushree accused Nana Patekar of sending political party goons to intimidate her after she walked out of a special song sequence because of the actor’s alleged inappropriate behavior.

In the now viral video, Tanushree can be seen seated in a car, which was stopped by the mob. Her car’s windshield and side windows were violently broken and an unidentified man was seen jumping on the roof of the car. After several minutes, policemen arrived at the studio and took charge, after which Tanushree was able to leave the studio, with police protection.

The #MeToo movement has found resonance in Bollywood, where the vast majority of producers and film-makers are men, most of whom are from prominent families in the film industry.

Ever since Tanushree Dutta dropped the bomb after she claimed to have been sexually harassed by veteran actor Nana Patekar, the internet was taken by storm. Fans and netizens alike have been buzzing about this piece of news for more than a week. Several Bollywood celebrities too have made their opinions public about the situation.

Several actors’ such as Priyanka Chopra, Twinkle Khanna, Farhan Akhtar, Renuka Shahane and Richa Chadha among others have come out in support of Tanushree. Many like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan have opted for a diplomatic approach on the controversy.

However, the actress is disappointed because of one particular star, arguably the biggest Bollywood icon – legend Amitabh Bachchan. At the trailer launch of his upcoming movie Thugs of Hindostan, Amitabh Bachchan was asked about the issue and his take on it. Big B, at the time, replied that neither is he Tanushree Dutta nor is he Nana Patekar and left it at that.

Now, in an interview with HT, Tanushree expressed her disappointment with Big B’s response to the entire controversy. “I’m hurt, as these are people who do movies on social causes.

” Talking further about how these movies win the hearts of the audience, the actress shared, “But when it comes to standing up and doing something about what is happening in front of you, there are these evasive statements that don’t make sense,” the actress said.

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