Another #MeToo accused resurfaces

Updated: 25 March, 2020 07:33 IST | Mohar Basu, Letty Mariam Abraham | Mumbai

Alleged sexual harasser Ashiish Patil's show Pyaar Actually acquired by Hotstar India; Bhumi Pednekar and Saqib Saleem, who shot for it in 2018, kept in the dark about the project's release

Ashiish Patil
Ashiish Patil

With reports suggesting that Katrina Kaif has signed Vikas Bahl's next, the industry's rush to rehabilitate those accused of sexual harassment has come sharply in focus. Interestingly, another #MeToo accused, Ashiish Patil — who had to step down from his position of vice president of YRF Talent, and business and creative head of Y-Films in 2018 — has actively taken to production again. In fact, Patil's work, Pyaar Actually, an anthology of love stories that he created for Diamond Producers' Association, has made its way to Hotstar.

The series features Bhumi Pednekar, Saqib Saleem and Riteish Deshmukh, among others. A little bit of digging revealed that the actors are unaware of the series being uploaded on the platform. A production hand informs, "It was shot in 2018, way before allegations against Ashiish came to light. It was a corporate commercial that was commissioned by Diamond Producers Association. Ever since his ouster, neither the actors nor the production house was kept in the loop about the project. Whoever owns the final material could have informed the actors out of sheer courtesy, but the talent can't lay claim to it or object to it."

Saqib Saleem and Bhumi Pednekar
Saqib Saleem and Bhumi Pednekar

A Hotstar insider informs that the show was acquired late last year after Modern Love worked wonders for Amazon Prime. "But Hotstar has a firm stand against sexual harassment, which is why Ashiish was not credited in the slate."

Hotstar India's spokesperson remained unavailable for comment.

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First Published: 25 March, 2020 07:17 IST

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