It was 2005 when film star Shakti Kapoor was caught in a controversy where a sting operation carried out on him showed offering a woman help in her career in return for sex. The clip, which was aired on India TV back then, showed Shakti talking to the undercover reporter saying, “I want to make love to you… and if you want to come into this line (film industry), you have to do what I am telling you to do.” He then goes and names three actresses who ‘slept their way’ into films. Part of the clip can be seen below.
On Tuesday, while addressing media for his upcoming new film, which is supposedly an ‘erotic thriller’, Kapoor was asked by one of the journalists on the allegations of sexual harassment levelled by film actor Tanushree Dutta on Nana Patekar. However, making a joke of the allegations, Kapoor said that ‘he does not know about it because ten years back he was a kid’.
#WATCH:I don’t know anything about this case. This was ten years back, I was a kid back then: Shakti Kapoor on #TanushreeDutta‘s harassment allegations against Nana Patekar. (2/10/2018) pic.twitter.com/FxD7LHL6MM
— ANI (@ANI) October 3, 2018
Shakti Kapoor’s ‘joke’, which is received as with laughter from the audience, is a bit rich coming from someone who himself was once accused of being part of the rampant sexual exploitation in the film industry. That Kapoor was accused of indulging in ‘casting couch’ the term used for men or women in power in the film industry offering work in lieu of sexual favours.
While many have stood up and extended support to Tanushree Dutta, many, many more film stars have chosen to maintain silence or not to speak about it, including Amitabh Bachchan, who ironically starred in 2016 drama film ‘Pink’ which talked about consent.
One may argue that these men were not present on the set when the alleged incident took place, so how can they comment on it. Fair enough. However, instead of dismissing it like Amitabh Bachchan or making a joke out of it like Shakti Kapoor, perhaps one could be little more sensitive and not fuel the trolls who are bullying Tanushree. Perhaps an ‘I am not aware, but an investigation should be carried out and guilty should be punished’ wouldn’t have hurt.
Tanushree Dutta has accused film actor Nana Patekar of inappropriately touching her during the shooting of an ‘item song’ in the film ‘Horn OK Pleassss’ back in 2008. She had complained about it back in 2008 as well and has maintained her stand over the years on the alleged incident that took place in 2008.