#MeToo effect: Aamir drops out of producing Gulshan Kumar biopic

#MeToo effect: Aamir drops out of producing Gulshan Kumar biopic
#MeToo effect: Aamir drops out of producing Gulshan Kumar biopic

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan on Wednesday announced his departure from an upcoming project while maintaining its anonymity, saying he has been informed of “sexual misconduct” on the part of a collaborator. The project being talked about is the Gulshan Kumar biopic ‘Mogul,’ the director of which, Subash Kapoor, was accused of molesting a woman. Kapoor is accused of molesting actor Geetika Tyagi in 2014 and the matter is in court.

In a joint statement by Aamir and his filmmaker-wife Kiran Rao, the duo said, “At Aamir Khan Productions, we have always had a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour of any kind.” They said they were committed to making the industry a safe place.

“We believe that this is an opportunity for the film industry to introspect and take concrete steps towards change. For far too long women have faced the brunt of sexual exploitation. It has to stop.” Aamir and Rao also announced that they were distancing themselves from an upcoming project as the said person is accused of sexual misconduct.

“Two weeks ago, when traumatic #MeToo stories began emerging, it was brought to our attention that someone we were about to begin work with has been accused of sexual misconduct. Upon enquiry we found that this particular case is sub-judice, and that the legal process is in motion,” the statement read. “So, without casting any aspersions on anyone involved in this case, and without coming to any conclusions about these specific allegations, we have decided to step away from this film. We do not want our action to reflect in any manner on the people involved in this case,” it added. Aamir said they were not in any position to pass a judgement on anyone as that is for the police and judiciary to do but added that a clean up was needed in the industry.

When contacted about Aamir’s decision to part ways with the project, Bhushan Kumar of T-Series told PTI, “He (Aamir) doesn’t want to work with Subhash Kapoor because of his unfinished case.” When asked whether T-Series will work with Kapoor, Bhushan said, “No... We won’t. We are not making (the film) with him.” Kapoor remained unavailable for comment.

Though they refrained from taking any names, Aamir was supposed to produce Gulshan Kumar biopic, directed by Subhash Kapoor, who had been accused of sexual harassment by actor Geetika Tyagi. She tweeted a note of thanks for Aamir on Wednesday. “This is COMMENDABLE and this is the kind of support we want so that more and more women can come out. Thank you @aamir_khan thank you #KiranRao #TimesUp #MeTooMovement,” she wrote in her tweet.

Subash Kapoor, in an interview to a leading daily, said he respects Aamir’s decision. “I understand and respect Aamir Khan’s and Kiran Rao’s decision. Since matter is sub-judice, I intend to prove my innocence in the court of law.”