The rising voices for the #MeToo movement on social media are getting stronger by the media. After a Bollywood actress came out and spoke against Nana Patekar and director Vivek Agnihotri, it has given many victims the confidence of coming out and sharing their horror tales. In the process, many big names in the media and others fields are being outed as perverts and serial offenders. Amidst all that, an old sexual assault allegation against Queen director Vikas Bahl has surfaced. The voices of dissent against Bollywood supporting him has become so strong that Phantom Films, a production company that Vikas Bahl has formed along with Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena, has been dissolved.
Then, Kangana Ranaut, the lead actress in Queen, has confirmed in a statement that Vikas was perverse in nature. She said, "When we were filming Queen, he bragged about having casual sex with a new partner every other day. I don't judge people and their marriages but you can tell when addiction becomes a sickness. But still every time we met, socially greeted and hugged each other, he'd bury his face in my neck, hold me really tight and breathe in the smell of my hair. It took me a great amount of strength and effort to pull myself out of his embrace. He'd say 'I love how you smell K'. I could tell something is wrong with him."
All well and good, and we should appreciate Kangana for coming out and talking about this. However, there are many on social media who feel that she is just washing her hands in dirty water. They feel that she is taking advantage of the situation to make sure that Bahl's upcoming film, Super 30, also starring her alleged ex, Hrithik Roshan, is playing the lead, will not release on January 25, 2019. That's the same date when her own movie, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, is also coming out.
There is a reason why this doubt has sprung, as some Twitter users are now bringing an old quote of hers about Bahl. In 2017, when the allegations against Vikas Bahl came out initially, Kangana was asked about him during a fashion event.
She had said then, "We are here to talk about a brand, but what you mentioned is a serious topic. But whoever faces such situations and speaks up is courageous. Generally speaking, they should be encouraged to talk about it by their family, colleagues. They should not be shamed. Obviously, there will always be another side to the story. But people should speak up, whether it is right or wrong." While she did speak about the issue, we can see then that she avoided taking sides and did not accuse Vikas of anything.
This is why certain Twitter users had an issue with Kangana's sudden honesty on the whole issue.
So Kangana says she was aware of Vikas Bahl sexually attacking a junior woman employee in 2015, but did nothing. Don't know how to react to her brand of feminism @JantaKaReporter #MeToo #TimesUp https://t.co/WZY9rLBhDL
— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) October 7, 2018
Pic 1: Kangana Ranawat on April 11 , 2017 (before Simran)
Pic 2: Kangana Ranawat on October 6, 2018 (Before Manikarnika which will clash with the directo's next)
Aise hypocrite and evil oppertunist kabhi dekha hai ? pic.twitter.com/cu0SaOq8BU
— Liberated !! (@iNipunK) October 6, 2018
Soo Kangana speaks out about her Director buddy after 4 years of the said incident..while being all friendly and thankful at that time for giving her the best movie of her career? The #MetooIndia movement could’ve started much earlier dont ya think?
— Apu Rule (@apuroopk) October 7, 2018
No blames to victim as she's not powerful as Kangana... Also m not supporting Vikas n not against kangana... infact love Kangana always as an actor.. But the way she indulge herself in each n every controversy is real bad thing...
— Ami (@Ami_Nayak_) October 7, 2018
He'd bury his face in my neck,hold me really tight and breathe in the smell of my hair.
Kangana Ranaut about Vikas Bahl....
— PUJA (@pujee1987) October 7, 2018
While we think that Kangana might be talking the truth in her statement, her timing of issuing the statement is definitely off. There might be no need for Kangana to talk about it immediately after the movie's shoot was over (bragging about casual sex is cheap but not sexual harassment), Kangana could have spoken about the issue when she was asked about Bahl last year. Now when she finally spoke about it, we can't blame the people for thinking about opportunism, keeping an eye on the Manikarnika-Super 30 clash.
Speaking of the clash, Super 30 lead Hrithik Roshan is awfully quiet about the whole issue.