Actor Taapsee Pannu is standing by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who has been accused of sexual harassment by actor Payal Ghosh. She, however, says that if he is found guilty, she will be the ‘first person to break ties with him’.
Payal, on Saturday, has alleged that Anurag sexually harassed her five years ago, ‘forcing himself’ on her. Taapsee and several other colleagues of Anurag from the film industry supported him. Taapsee had even called him the ‘biggest feminist’ she knows.
Speaking about Anurag, Taapsee told Mumbai Mirror, “If he is found guilty, I’ll be the first person to break all ties with him. But if the investigation is inconclusive, how can the sanctity of the #MeToo movement be sustained? How will real victims benefit from a power that’s come to us after years of suppression? It’s wrong for women to derail the movement. Abusing power isn’t gender-specific.”
Taapsee added that Anurag treats women with respect. “Anurag has a lot of respect for women, never badmouths anyone even if that person hasn’t been kind to him in public. His is one of those rare sets where the number of women on the crew equals men, and they only have nice things to say about him. If someone has been harassed, let them initiate an investigation, let the truth come out,” she said.
Anurag’s ex-wives Kalki Koechlin and Aarti Bajaj also vouched for his character. Aarti wrote, “First wife here.. You are a rockstar @anuragkashyap10. Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter. There is no integrity left and the world is full of losers and no brains baying for blood of anyone who has a voice. If everybody spends the energy which they use in hating others constructively this world will be a better place.”
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Kalki wrote, “Dear Anurag, don’t let this social media circus get to you, you have fought for the freedom of women in your scripts, you’ve defended their integrity in your professional space as well as in your personal life. I have been witness to it, in the personal and professional space you have always seen me as your equal, you have stood up for my integrity even after our divorce, and you have supported me when I felt unsafe in a work environment even before we got together. This strange time where everyone gets to abuse one another and make false claims without any repercussions is a dangerous and repulsive one. It is destroying families, friends and countries. But there is a place of dignity that exists beyond this virtual blood bath, a place of paying attention to the needs of those around you, a place of being kind even when no one is looking, and I know you are very familiar with that place.”
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