With three national awards to her merit, Kangana Ranaut is a bold and fearless actress who is known to speak her mind. Despite being mired in several controversies, she is known to break several industry stereotypes and standing out tall within the industry. Apart from raising fingers at nepotism in the industry, she has also questioned Bollywood’s obsession with fairness apart from several other issues.
She is in news again and this time for sharing her #MeToo moment. Soon after actress Tanushree Dutta leveled sexual harassment allegations against Nana Patekar, during a event in Bengaluru, Ranut said Queen director Vikas Bahl would ‘bury his face in (her) neck, hold (her) really tight and breathe in the smell of (her hair)” when they met socially.
Ranaut also said that on the sets of Queen, Bahl (married at that time) often used to talk about casual sex with his partner.
In a HuffPost India report, Bahl had been accused by a former woman employee of Phantom Films of sexually assaulting her in May 2015 at a hotel in Goa. The female employee said that she informed Kashyap but it did not yield any result. She quit the company in 2017.
Recently, Anurag Kashyap announced the dismantling of Phantom Films, co-owned by Vikas Bahl along with Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena. A major reason for the dissolution is said to be the differences between the partners as a result of sexual allegations against Bahl. Founded in 2011, Phantom Films has produced many Bollywood films like Queen, Masaan, Lootera, Udta Punjab and the likes.
Through separate tweets, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramditya Motwane confirmed that Bahl is a predator, and that he was suspended after his sexual misconduct reports in 2017. Both filmmakers promised to never allow predatory behaviour on their watch again.
In a statement, Kashyap said:
“While at Phantom, I did everything I could, within what I was told by my partner and his lawyers. For legal and financial decisions, I was fully dependent on my partner and his team. They took care of those things so I could focus on what I did better, creatives. His word and his team’s word on any matter used to be the final word for us.
My statement in light of the recent HuffPost article and breaking up of Phantom . There are two pages.. pic.twitter.com/WCAsaj6uFR
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) October 7, 2018
Following Ranut’s remarks, another actress (on the condition of anonymity) had come forward and said the Queen director allegedly “forcibly tried to kiss” her. She said that she always considered Bahl “dodgy” and was careful to never be alone with him.
— Vikramaditya Motwane (@VikramMotwane) October 7, 2018
The actress has revealed that Bahl’s modus operandi is “pretending to be drunk and feigning ignorance.”
It looks like the film industry is having its #MeToo movement with a lot of women coming out in open and naming those people who have cross their boundaries or asked for sexual favours.