Mumbai: In the wake of India's very own #MeToo movement, Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao have decided to step aside from doing a film with an accused.
The 'Thugs of Hindostan' actor took to his Twitter handle to put out a statement, on behalf of his production house, that said, "At Aamir Khan Production we have always had a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour of any kind."
"Two weeks ago, when traumatic #MeToo stories began emerging, it was brought to our attention that someone we were about to work with has been accused of sexual misconduct. Upon enquiry we found that this particular case is subjudice, and that the legal process is in motion," the statement signed by both Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao added.
Clarifying their take on the matter, Aamir mentioned that they would no longer engage with the person.
"We are not an investigative agency, nor are we in any position to pass judgment on anyone involved in this case, and without coming to any conclusions about these specific allegation, we have decided to step away from this film," it added.
Referring to the recent cases of sexual harassment allegations levelled against various celebrities, the statement said, "We believe that this is an opportunity for the film industry to introspect and take concrete steps towards change. For far too long women have faced the brunt of sexual exploitation. It has to stop. In this regard, we are committed to doing any and everything to make our film industry a safe and happy one to work in."
While Aamir put out his statement without taking names, he was referring to the film ‘Mogul’ which he was set to produce and reportedly also star in, and the person accused is 'Jolly LLB' franchise fame Subhash Kapoor, who was set to direct it. Kapoor was earlier accused of sexually assaulting actress Geetika Tyagi and a video of her slapping her when he tried to apologise had surfaced before.
‘Mogul’ is a biopic on late T-Series chief Gulshan Kumar and son Bhushan Kumar, who heads it now, has, however, removed Kapoor from the film.
When contacted about Aamir's decision to part ways with the project, Bhushan Kumar of T-Series told PTI, "He (Aamir) doesn't want to work with Subhash Kapoor because of his unfinished case.
When asked whether T-Series will work with Kapoor, Bhushan told PTI, "No... We won't. We are not making (the film) with him."
Meanwhile, Kapoor had released a statement saying, "I understand and respect Aamir Khan's and Kiran Rao's decision. Since matter is subjudice, I intend to prove my innocence in the court of law. But I do want to raise a question - is secretly filming a crying woman without her consent and knowledge and uploading it on social media not harassment or abuse? Or is it fine if she is related to someone who is 'allegedly accused' of misconduct. If your answer is latter, then for me it's nothing less then a khap panchayat mentality."
It is not immediately clear who is referring in the latter part of his statement....