Mumbai, Oct 13 (PTI) The producers of "Housefull 4" Saturday announced that Farhad Samji will be taking over the directing duties of the film after the exit of Sajid Khan. Sajid announced his departure on Friday after three women actors and a journalist accused him of sexual harassment. The film is being produced by Sajid Nadiadwala under his banner of Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment.
In a statement, a spokesperson of the production house said, "Director of 'Housefull 3', Farhad Samji, will now direct Housefull 4." Farhad Samji had co-directed the franchise's previous entry "Housefull 3" along with his brother Sajid Samji. The film's lead star Akshay Kumar announced Friday that the shooting has been put on hold for now.
"I've just landed back in the country last night and reading all the news has been very disturbing. I've requested the producers of Housefull 4 to cancel the shoot until further investigation," he wrote on Twitter.
"This is something that requires stringent action. I will not work with any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve," the 51-year-old actor added.
Soon after, Sajid said he was taking the "moral responsibility" to step down till he can allay the allegations. "In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of my film 'Housefull 4', I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth.. Request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgment till the truth is out," he said. Akshay's wife Twinkle was first to ask the film's cast to a "firm" stand on the allegations against the director.
"Appalled hearing multiple incidents of harassment and it is truly horrific to hear what these women have been through. Everyone involved in Housefull needs to take a firm stance on this issue. This cannot go on," she wrote on Twitter.
Actor Nana Patekar, who has been accused by Tanushree Dutta of sexual misconduct on the sets of the film "Horn Ok Pleassss" in 2008, on Friday also dropped out of the film.
"Nanasaheb do not want any inconvenience caused to anyone and hence in the backdrop of false accusations levelled against him he thought it fit to distance himself with the ongoing project of 'Housefull 4'," Malhar, son of Patekar, had said in a statement.
Patekar has denied the allegations levelled by Dutta. Dutta's revelations have sparked what media is terming as India's #MeToo movement, where journalists, actors and professionals have taken to social media to talk about workplace harassment.