A year back, much was happening in the highest echelons of Hollywood. The world saw the downfall of Harvey Weinstein when the New York Times published articles about women accusing him of sexual assault, rape, and abuse. This expose sparked outrage by women and millions shared their personal stories online, some even accused others including Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, and Oliver Stone of similar conducts.
As months passed by, the press became accepting of this global movement and gave voice to many who suppressed themselves for years. Sadly, ‘MeToo’ could only stay in headlines on the social media in India and didn’t really take any shape. Here, actresses though expressed their concern and came out in support of the movement but preferred to remain quiet about their personal experiences. Obviously, the reason is the fear of being debarred from Bollywood.
Conversations haven’t stopped yet and people are still willing to talk about #MeToo. After actresses like Radhika Apte, Richa Chadda, Swara Bhasker, and Konkona Sen Sharma showed some support, now here is another actress who shared what happened with her.
Actress Tanushree Dutta who appeared in ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ recently spoke up on the issue. This is what she said:
“The thing is that our country has become so hypocritical, and people constantly ask why #MeToo movement is not happening in India, it won’t happen unless and until you’ll acknowledge what happened with me in 2008″
She added further:
“The #MeToo happened in Hollywood a year or two back, but in India it happened several years ago. I was probably one of the first people in the history of this country in the media field to speak up and stand up. Everybody saw what happened but the memory and the popular perception of it is that Tanushree Dutta spoke up against harassment and then she was no more”
In 2008, Tanushree accused an actor of making her feel extremely uncomfortable during the shooting of a song in the film ‘Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss’. She felt distressed to an extent that she had to opt out of the song. Recalling how Bollywood remained silent over the issue, she claimed:
“The entire industry saw what happened but there was not one word of condemnation from anybody. Every single person in this country remembers my incident and this was something on national TV for three days but even today there’s a stoic silence on that. So, my question is, ‘Who is going to believe these hypocrites?’ These are the people who stand up and raise their voice against women empowerment.”
She also explained that when she refused to do an intimate scene with the actor, he called people from a political party who vandalized her car. She also revealed the trauma she felt after the incident:
“I got some 30-40 film offers after the controversy, but I was suffering from such major fear that I would not even want to go on a film set. Because when you go through such experience you think everybody is like that. You refuse to believe that I have worked with good people also.”
As per a recent report, Tanushree has claimed:
“Everyone knows about Nana Patekar that he has always been disrespectful towards women. People in the industry know about his background… that he has beaten actresses, he has molested them, his behaviour with women has always been crude but no publication has printed anything about it.”
Tanushree suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and started rejecting films. Today, she lives in the United States and was last seen in Jag Mundhra’s ‘Apartment’ in 2010. The actress believes that people in Bollywood are hypocrites. They are still working with the offenders and at the same time, they talk about women empowerment.