#MeToo contract in Bollywood: Producer Kumar Mangat drafts no-harassment form
In the wake of #MeToo movement in India, Kumar Mangat's studio implements new contract where aspiring actors can complain about untoward sexual advances during audition
Tanushree Dutta, who sparked off #MeToo India, reiterated time and again that the movement is a social change that goes well beyond naming and shaming sexual predators. In the wake of the movement that has taken Bollywood by storm, studios appear to be working out ways of creating safer workplaces for women.
In the latest development, producer Kumar Mangat Pathak has implemented a new system in his production house Panorama Studios — after their auditions, aspiring actors can fill out a specially designed feedback form where they can complain about untoward sexual advances during auditions, if any.
An actor, who recently auditioned for a film at Pathak's office, told mid-day, "After the audition was over, the associate handed me a form, where I was required to write my name and photo ID details, along with my feedback on the experience I had during the session. It also has a note to assure the producers that I was safe during the audition, and wasn't mistreated or harassed by anyone."
The move comes months after Vicky Sidana, who used to handle the casting process of most movies made under the banner, was accused of sexual harassment by several survivors. The studio has apparently distanced itself from the alleged offender since.
Stressing on the need to create a safe environment at work, Pathak told mid-day, "Firstly, we ensure that the auditions take place in our office premises. We have installed CCTV cameras in the audition rooms. Post this, we hand the aspiring actor a document to take it in writing that his/her experience wasn't an unpleasant one. If someone raises a red flag, we have a redressal committee [a 10-member team with a legal POSH expert on board] that will address the complaint within a fortnight. It has been two months since we implemented this."
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