The #MeToo movement shook Hindi film industry when several women came out to accuse prominent faces like Alok Nath, Nana Patekar, Subhash Ghai, Mukesh Chhabra among others of sexual harassment. One of the names that topped the list was that of Sajid Khan. The filmmaker was accused of sexual misconduct by three women including a journalist. In his statement earlier, Sajid denied all allegations levelled against him. Now again, in his reply to the notice sent by IFTDA (Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association), the filmmaker has again refused to accept any sexual harassment allegation made against him by any woman.
Days after he was sent a notice seeking his explanation on the allegations, Sajid has written back to them. A report in Bombay Times has mentioned Sajid’s statement: “I apologise to IFTDA if any embarrassment has been caused to the association by the alleged accusation against me. These allegations have not only caused irreparable harm to my career, but more importantly, grieved my mother and sister immensely. At the outset, I deny the complaints levelled against me as stated in your notice. I humbly request you to not to form any one-sided judgement. I am always happy to extend any cooperation to my association”.
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After receiving Sajid’s statement on the matter, IFTDA has organised a meeting with the filmmaker on November 1. The statement from the association to Khan read, “We have scheduled a meeting of IFTDA ICC on Thursday, November 1 at IFTDA office to hear you for the POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) Act inquiry, which is based on the principle of natural justice and the alleged harasser is provided an opportunity before any disciplinary action is taken. Therefore, attend the meeting as scheduled”.
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Meanwhile, Sajid has received wide backlash from the film industry. Actresses like Dia Mirza, Bipasha Basu and Amrita Puri among others have also spoken out on the matter calling Sajid ‘obnoxious’ and ‘creep’. Both Farhan Akhtar and Farah Khan took to Twitter to condemn Sajid’s alleged action and stated that he will have to atone his actions if the allegations are true. Further, Sajid himself had to step away as the director of his upcoming film, Housefull 4. All this started when actress Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her back in 2008 on the sets of Horn OK Pleasss. Her courage to speak out against the veteran actor without any fear gave motivation to other women across industries to speak up.