India’s #TimesUp movement is finally here and about time too, don’t you think? Women all across the internet are telling their horror stories of being harassed, subjected to lewd or suggestive behaviour by their male friend’s or colleagues. While Tanushree Dutta got the ball rolling when she spoke out once again against how she was harassed on the sets of 2008 movie Horn Ok Pleasssss by Nana Patekar. After which, All India Bakchod comedian Utsav Chakraborty was called out by a woman for his lewd behaviour online. AIB founder Gursimran Khamba was next to be accused of harassment. Amidst such accusations, Tanmay Bhatt and Khamba will be stepping away from AIB with immediate effect. The pandora’s box has been opened and many other names of men in positions of power have been coming out. While they all are at varying degrees of sexual offence, it’s been Vikas Bahl, Kailash Kher, Alok Nath and Rajat Kapoor‘s are the names that have come out from Bollywood.
In the light of such allegations, Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) has decided to distance themselves from the films that were to be presented at the festival by AIB as well as Rajat Kapoor. Member’s of MAMI put out an official statement that said that they will not be screening AIB’s Chintu Ka Birthday and Rajat Kapoor‘s Kadakh.
We as an Academy (MAMI) strongly support the #MeToo movement. In light of recent developments, we have decided to drop the following films from our line-up — AIB’s ‘Chintu Ka Birthday’ and Rajat Kapoor’s ‘Kadakh.
We want to use this opportunity to open up the conversation, and find solutions to harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace. Starting with this edition of the festival, we would like to unite the community to find positive and constructive ways to deal with it.
We’re glad there are steps being taken in the right direction. While it is heart-wrenching to see more stories like this come out. It is also a notifier that the times are changing and it is time we stand up for what’s right.