Das after Marathi actor Kiran Mane was removed from TV Serial ‘Mulgi Zali Ho’ on Star Pravah, other artists from the show have accused the actor of misbehaviour, targeting and use of abusive language towards them on the set. Earlier on January 15, Mane had claimed that he was expelled from the serial because he had criticised PM Modi and other BJP leaders on social media.
Moreover, in a statement issued by channel ‘Star Pravah’ which airs the show, the channel has refuted claims of Mane and has called them ‘Imaginary and Fabricated’. Clearing the air around the controversy the channel has said that Mane has been expelled from the serial for his abuse towards co-actors, especially female heroines of the show. Earlier the producer of the show had also denied Mane’s allegations and had said that he was removed due to ‘professional reasons’.
The Kiran Mane controversy had erupted with the actor claiming that he was expelled from the show over his open political expression on social media platforms. In the disguise of upholding ‘progressive thought’ as he calls it, the actor was regularly seen abusing political leaders – especially PM Narendra Modi and opposition leader of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis. The controversy had stormed media circles in Maharashtra and after a meeting with NCP Leader Sharad Pawar, Mane gained support from NCP and many actors and directors from the film industry.
In a turn of events on Sunday, lead actors from the serial ‘Mulgi Zali Ho’ have come forward to take stands against the claims by Mane. While talking to TV9 Marathi, actress Shravani Pillai said, “The whole controversy created by Mane around his removal from the serial is baseless. Nothing of this sort has happened on the sets. It is because of the abusive behaviour that he has been removed from the serial by the production house. In fact, he was warned of the same by the heads earlier three times. After that, the call was taken to finally remove him.”
Talking about Mane’s behaviour on the set, veteran actress Savita Malpekar said, “He always used to speak with us with a tone of arrogance. He had even threatened many artists on the set of expulsion from the serial. There’s clearly no political angle involved here”. Divya Pugaonkar, the lead actress who played Mane’s daughter in the serial has alleged him of targeting, making crass comments, and passing off judgements over her weight.
Taking cognizance of the complaints flagged by many artists on the show, Kiran Mane was removed by the Channel authorities. In a statement in response to his allegations of ‘cultural terrorism’, the channel said, “The allegations by Mane are fabricated and Imaginary. He was removed from the show over many allegations of inappropriate behaviour by him against many female artists. Many of his co-artists, directors and unit staff members had complained about his arrogance earlier. In spite of warnings given to him, he continued with his behaviour which violated our operation protocols.” The channel further clarified, “We respect everyone’s right to have an opinion and that to express it. But, safeguarding the safety of our women and environment on the set remains our utmost priority.”
The Producer of the show, Suzana Ghai while talking to OpIndia about the incident said, “Nothing about his removal from the set is related to politics or the BJP. The development was such that we didn’t even expect. There is no political intent behind his removal”. After this serious turn of events, the claims of Kiran Mane and his supporters over allegations of so-called ‘curtailment of freedom of expression’ have fallen flat now.