The film industry is having a long overdue #MeToo moment with Tanushree Dutta making her decade-old charge of sexual harassment against Nana Patekar official. On Twitter, several prominent men from the media and other fields have also been outed as alleged predators. Actress Kankana Ranout has opened about the sexual harassment by Vikas Bahl.
A day after the announcement that Phantoms Films was being disbanded and the subsequent Huffington Post expose on co-owner Vikas Bahl’s alleged sexual misconduct, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap – one of the four partners in Phantom Films and the only one of the four to have spoken to HuffPost – has explained himself in a lengthy statement posted on his official Twitter account. Mr Kashyap was revealed by HuffPo to be the person to have set the ball in motion for Mr Bahl to be made accountable for his alleged actions. However, the expose was also very critical of Mr Kashyap for his handling of the matter, not least of which was the delay in calling Vikas Bahl out.
Vikas Bahl’s alleged misconduct took place three years ago and was reported only last year. Now, over a year after the media reported on the allegations, the end of Phantom Films has been announced. In his statement, Anurag Kashyap blames the delay on the lack of legal options. He says that the Phantom Films contract didn’t allow him (and presumably his other partners Madhu Mantena and Vikramaditya Motwane) to fire Vikas Bahl butt that they did what they could – this apparently included suspending him as well as revoking his signing authority. Mr Kashyap claims to also have ‘named and shamed’ Mr Bahl in film circles.
Anurag Kashyap acknowledges that he was ‘ill-advised’ on legalities and company administration and that he failed the survivor of the alleged sexual assault at several levels. However, he also accuses the HuffPost journalist of not revealing key information in the expose.
Mr Kashyap notes in his statement that the film industry is singularly ‘ill-equipped to handle matters such as sexual harassment’ and ends with a promise that ‘this will never happen again on my work premises.’
Vikramditya Motwane has also posted a tweet echoing much of what Anurag Kashyap said, including a vow that “it will never happen again on my watch.”
There was absolutely no hint of the dark backstory to this when Anurag Kashyap tweeted yesterday that the ‘glorious dream’ that Phantom Films had been was over
The HuffPost article, published soon after, quickly went viral and revealed in harrowing detail just how Vikas Bahl had allegedly forced himself on the survivor. It also revealed the months of alleged agonizing, inaction and then finally retribution that followed.
Vikas Bahl’s Queen actress Kangana Ranaut has now also revealed that he allegedly touched her inappropriately during filming.
However, despite Mr Kashyap’s naming and shaming of his former partner, Mr Bahl continues to seemingly flourish – he is currently directing Hrithik Roshan in Super 30.