- I refuse to believe any allegations about Varun Grover: Anurag Kashyap
- Neeraj Ghaywan also backed Varun Grover
- Varun Grover countered the claims made against him
Anurag Kashyap, who played an instrumental role to ensure that Vikas Bahl was held accountable for his alleged inappropriate behavior, vouched for writer lyricist Varun Grover, after he denied allegations of sexual misconduct pressed by a woman, who claims she was his junior at the Banaras Hindu University or BHU. After Varun Grover "categorically" denied the allegations of 'inappropriately touching a woman,' Anurag Kashyap tweeted: "This man I have known so closely and so, so long that I refuse to believe any allegations about him. #believethevictim and investigate the claims and also be careful to not let vested interests sabotage a long pending genuine movement." Apart from Anurag Kashyap, Masaan director Neeraj Ghaywan also backed Mr Grover, and tweeted: "It's appalling how such slanderous allegations are trying to sabotage the #MeToo movement in India. Varun is someone who is truly putting his weight and career behind for this movement. It is horribly irresponsible of whoever is behind this to malign him." Later, Varun Grover shared a full statement, in which he point-wise countered the claims made against him. Varun Grover was one of the writers of Sacred Games, co-directed by Anurag Kashyap.
This man I have known so closely and so so long that I refuse to believe any allegations about him . #believethevictim and investigate the claims and also be careful to not let vested interests sabotage a long pending genuine movement https://t.co/A4bkVgF9Hb— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) October 9, 2018
It's appalling how such slanderous allegations are trying to sabotage the #MeToo movement in India. Varun is someone who is truly putting his weight and career behind for this movement. It is horribly irresponsible of whoever is behind this to malign him.— Neeraj Ghaywan (@ghaywan) October 9, 2018
On Tuesday, Varun Grover trended along with other celebrities who have been outed as alleged sexual predators. Mr Grover posted a statement on Twitter, in which he said that the allegations against him were "completely fabricated, misleading, and defamatory." He added: "I'm absolutely willing to cooperate and clear my name. Let's not allow such agenda-driven tactics to derail this movement please."
Here's my detailed statement about the completely fabricated, misleading, and defamatory allegations against me. Am absolutely willing to cooperate and clear my name. Let's not allow such agenda-driven tactics to derail this movement please. pic.twitter.com/VTFeIjygcl— (@varungrover) October 9, 2018
A few days ago, Anurag Kashyap announced the dissolution of his production company Phantom Films, which he co-owned with Vikas Bahl along with Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena. As per a Huffington Post India report the company's fate was the endgame of an investigation against Vikas Bahl based on the claims of a former colleague, who alleged that the Queen filmmaker harassed her at a Phantom Films party in 2015.
Though delayed, the investigation resulted in the closure of Phantom Films and in the aftermath, Vikas Bahl has reportedly been taken out of the promotions of Super 30, which he directed. The film's lead actor Hrithik Roshan has also asked the team to "take a harsh stand if need be." Since then, two more claims - including one by his Queen star Kangana Ranaut - of sexual harassment against Vikas Bahl have been shared by survivors.
After Tanushree Dutta resurrected a decade old controversy, in which she named Nana Patekar as her harasser on the sets of a film in 2008, many women have shared their #MeToo stories on social media. Names of actors Rajat Kapoor and Alok Nath, and singer Kailash Kher have also been included in the list of alleged predators. Vinta Nanda, writer of TV show Tara, accused the show's lead actor, of harassing the lead actress. In her post she said that the 'predator' is 'known as the most Sanskaari person in the film and television industry.'
Meanwhile, top film bodies such as the Producers Guild of India and the Cine And TV Artistes Association or CINTAA have also promised to responded proactively to complaints from survivors. The Producers Guild is also setting up a committee to look into the allegations of sexual harassment.
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