Bollywood rallies behind Anurag Kashyap, after Payal Ghosh's allegations

Updated: 21 September, 2020 07:23 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Hansal Mehta, Mahie Gill among those who come out to defend director Anurag Kashyap following sexual harassment allegations by Payal Ghosh

Anurag Kashyap, Payal Ghosh, Mahie Gill and Taapsee Pannu
Anurag Kashyap, Payal Ghosh, Mahie Gill and Taapsee Pannu

A day after Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi actor Payal Ghosh levelled accusations of sexual harassment against Anurag Kashyap, the filmmaker termed them "baseless". On Saturday, in an interview with ABN Telugu, Ghosh alleged that the director had forced himself on her when he was making Bombay Velvet (2015).

Ghosh also claimed that Kashyap stated that actors Huma Qureshi, Richa Chadha and Mahie Gill are "only a call away" and come running to "suck his c**k."

Payal Ghosh
Payal Ghosh

When mid-day reached out to Gill, she lent support to the filmmaker with whom she had collaborated on DevD (2009). "I do not want to get into this rut. There's already a lot of negativity around us. It's very easy to take [our] names just because he launched us. All I want to say is that I have known Anurag for a long time now. We may not be in touch, but I am fairly certain that Anurag can never speak like this about any of his actors," said Gill.

Earlier in the day, Kashyap, in a series of tweets, defended himself as he wrote, "All your allegations are baseless. Whether it's my first wife or second, or a girlfriend, or all those actresses who worked with me, or all those female colleagues who have been working with me, I don't indulge in such behaviour in public or otherwise. Neither do I tolerate such behaviour. Rest, whatever happens... let's see (sic)." He also questioned the veracity of Ghosh's account as he wrote, "In the video, you can figure how true the allegations are."

Richa Chadha
Richa Chadha

Soon enough, several voices from the film industry rallied behind Kashyap, alluding that this was an attempt to silence the filmmaker who has been fiercely vocal in his criticism of the current dispensation. Taapsee Pannu, the leading lady of Kashyap's Manmarziyaan (2018), reiterated her faith in him as she tweeted, "For you, my friend, are the biggest feminist I know. See you on the sets soon of yet another piece of art that shows how powerful and significant women are in the world you create." Hansal Mehta, who has known Kashyap for 24 years, wondered if they were "trying to shut up an artiste with a dissenting opinion?" While Kashyap's former wife Aarti Bajaj called it "the cheapest stunt I have ever seen", Sacred Games' assistant director Zoya Parvin described him as the "champion of feminism" and decried those who misuse the power of the #MeToo movement. Producer Guneet Monga too hoped that the powerful movement is not ruined by some people's "agendas". "The timing of this accusation seems malicious, especially when Anurag is taking a stand," she wrote.

After Ghosh came out with her allegations on Saturday, National Commission of Women chairperson Rekha Sharma asked her to send a detailed complaint on the matter. Kangana Ranaut, who is often engaged in a war of words with Kashyap, was among the first to support Ghosh, using #ArrestAnuragKashyap.

Huma Qureshi
Huma Qureshi

mid-day reached out to Kashyap, Chadha and Qureshi, who remained unavailable for comment.

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First Published: 21 September, 2020 07:06 IST

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