Mumbai: The #MeToo movement has opened a can of worms and Saif Ali Khan says he stands in solidarity with women sharing their stories of sexual harassment as he understands the pain they have been through.
The Sacred Games star said he faced harassment years ago, even though it was not sexual in nature.
"I have also been harassed in my career, not sexually, but I have been harassed 25 years ago and I am still angry about it," Saif told PTI.
"Most people don't understand other people. It is very difficult to understand other people's pain. I don't want to talk about it because I am not important today. Even when I think about what happened with me I still get angry. Today, we have to look after women," he added.
Saif said the offenders must be punished even if they are found guilty in an old case.
"People are offended and they want justice. What it is happening is good and it gives you a sense that something is happening. You are removing someone (from the job) and it is a big deal. You are removing a person, but everybody has worked on a project so you have to balance things. People who have sexually harassed and abused women should pay for it," said Saif.
His co-stars from Humshakals - Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta - recently opened up about director Sajid Khan's "rude" behaviour towards women on the sets of the 2014 film.
While Bipasha said she was disturbed with Sajid's attitude towards women, Esha revealed she got into a lot of arguments with him.
Sajid is accused of sexual misconduct by three female actors and a journalist. He has since been replaced by Farhad Samji as the director of Housefull 4.
Recalling his experience during Humshakals, Saif said, "I don't remember anything like this happening genuinely because if it would have happened I would not have been comfortable in that environment or allowed it to happen in front of me."
"I would hate an atmosphere where women are being looked down upon or mistreated in any way. I don't think that's how an atmosphere should be," he added.
Saif, 48, asserted he will not work with those who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
"We all need to have the same attitude. I don't want to work with them. We have to understand that how these people are behaving, it is not ok, it is disgusting," said the actor.
A report on TheIndianExpress however quoted him saying, "I don’t even want to call them my colleagues. I don’t think of these guys as my colleagues, I would be very shocked and surprised if a friend of mine was named in this. I think it is disgusting, and I have never liked any kind of bullying, and I know this is something that people do. And they can’t do it.”
The actor told Times Of India digital, “I am not saying that I am aware of it because of my family. I am saying, everyone’s got a wife, sister and daughter. You just can’t treat women like this. I have not heard about it too much, but it must be horrible. It’s awful to take advantage of pretty young girls who come looking for work with no one to protect them. They suddenly feel that they are put in a situation where they have to compromise on their values! It’s terrible for one’s soul and that’s not right. It’s not going to happen anymore. People will now think twice before asking someone to come to their bungalow for an audition.”
On Sara Ali Khan having to face such a situation, he says, “If someone asks my daughter to come see him at Madh Island, I will go with her and punch that man in the face. If she tells me that this guy said this to me, he will then be fighting me in court. I am sorry, but that’s my reaction to it. He wouldn’t dare to do it again. Every girl should have that kind of security.”...