Actor Ajay Devgn finally spoke up about working with MeToo accused actor Alok Nath for De De Pyaar De, a day after Tanushree Dutta criticised him for his silence. Alok Nath was accused of rape by writer Vinta Nanda in October last year, and her claims about his behaviour were corroborated by several celebrities in Bollywood, including his former co-stars Deepika Amin and Renuka Shahane.
According to a report in Times Now, Ajay Devgn said that his upcoming film was shot before the MeToo movement gained momentum, so it was “near impossible” to re-shoot due to logistical reasons. He also said that this was a decision for the producers to take, and, “had circumstances played out even slightly differently, I would have pushed for a different combination of actors.”
De De Pyaar De also stars Tabu and Rakul Preet Singh, and has been written and co-produced by Luv Ranjan. The movie’s trailer, featuring scenes with Nath, received flak on social media recently.
Speaking at the trailer launch, Ajay Devgn responded, “This film was supposed to be an October 2018 release. The shoot of the film got over by last September. By the time the allegations came out, the actors in the film, including me, had already started work on other films. It would be near impossible to get all the dates and combinations of the several actors in the film and attempt a re-shoot.”
Tanushree Dutta, who was at the forefront of the MeToo movement in Bollywood last year, reportedly said in a statement that Alok Nath was continuing to work in the industry despite the ongoing case against him. She said that the film’s makers should’ve re-shot the part of the film featuring him.
She further called out Devgn for his silence despite having supported the MeToo movement in the past.
I’m disturbed by all the happenings with regards to #MeToo. My company and I believe in providing women with utmost respect and safety. If anyone has wronged even a single woman, neither ADF nor I will stand for it.
— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) October 12, 2018
Tanushree said that Bollywood was ‘full of liars, show-offs and spineless hypocrites’. “This proves yet again that the big Bollywood heroes are truly zeroes. Over-rated actors and human beings who have created a clout by clever PR machinery and careful manipulation of public sentiments, old stuffy morons who can’t tell the difference between what’s right and wrong and what the need of the hour is.”
Tanushree was the first to speak up about sexual harassment in Bollywood during MeToo in 2018. She repeated an accustion she made 10 years ago years back against actor Nana Patekar, who allegedly sexually harassed her on the sets of Horn Ok Please. Following this, many actors and journalists spoke about their experiences of harassment.
Image Courtesy: Mid-day