The long due #MeToo Movement in India is gaining momentum. Many men in the industry have been accused of sexual harassment. Earlier, we saw Sajid Khan step down from the directorial duties of Housefull 4 after three women levelled accusations against him. Now, the latest name to have surfaced on the list of accused predators is Mukesh Chhabra. The man has been working as a top casting director in Bollywood for a long time now. Mukesh is also set to make his directorial debut with the Hindi remake of The Fault in Our Stars titled Kizie Aur Manny. The movie stars Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead role.
Mid-Day has published a report in which two women have levelled accusations against Mukesh Chhabra anonymously. One aspiring actress had serious allegations against Mukesh as she shared a phone recording with the news daily. In the recording, which dates back a couple of years, Mukesh can be heard saying, "You'll have to compromise, get physical with people in power. I am not promising that people ready to compromise get selected. Everyone is ready to compromise. It's no big deal. We can meet at a hotel tonight." #MeToo Movement: After Nana Patekar, Alok Nath and Vikas Bahl, Now Piyush Mishra Accused of Inappropriate Behaviour.
Another aspiring actress recalled her 2015 run in with Mukesh. She said, "He asked me to enact a scene which had the hero and the heroine hugging each other. Under the pretext of showing me how the scene should be performed, he grabbed me hard and felt me up. I could feel his hand on my butt. I was shell-shocked and immediately withdrew. He realised [my trepidation] and started vehemently apologising. At one point, he said, I thought you were fine with it because other girls are."
Mukesh Chhabra, as casting director, has been instrumental in the soaring careers of Zaira Wasim, Rajkummar Rao and Sushant Singh Rajput. We have to see what effect these extremely serious accusations will have on the industry and on Mukesh Chhabra. Moreover, we have to see if Sushant Singh Rajput will take a stand.