- "The world needs to #BelieveSurviviors" tweeted Priyanka
- Twinkle said Tanushree Dutta is "paving the way for all of us"
- Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan dodged questions about the controversy
Days after actress Tanushree Dutta named and shamed Nana Patekar for allegedly harassing her on the set of a 2008 film, a growing chorus of film industry voices has spoken out in support of her. Among them is actress-turned-author Twinkle Khanna, whose husband Akshay Kumar was criticised by Ms Dutta for making films with Mr Patekar despite allegedly knowing of her accusations against him. "A working environment without harassment and intimidation is a fundamental right and by speaking up this brave woman helps pave the way towards that very goal for all of us," tweeted Twinkle today, with a link to posts shared by journalist Janice Sequeira who says she was on set the day of the alleged harassment and corroborates a large part of what Tanushree Dutta said happened.
Actress Sonam Kapoor, whose actor father Anil Kapoor has worked with Nana Patekar in Welcome and Welcome Back, also backed Tanushree and Janice and tweeted: "I believe #TanushreeDatta... It's upto us to stand together."
Please read this thread before judging or shaming #TanushreeDutta a working environment without harassment and intimidation is a fundamental right and by speaking up this brave woman helps pave the way towards that very goal for all of us! https://t.co/f8Nj9YWRvE- Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) September 28, 2018
I believe #TanushreeDatta and @janiceseq85 recollection of the account. Janice is my friend, and she is anything but an exaggerator or a liar. And it's upto us to stand together. https://t.co/sF3mS5o1P8— Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamakapoor) September 28, 2018
Priyanka Chopra, Parineeti Chopra, Swara Bhasker, Richa Chadha, Anurag Kashyap and south actor Siddharth have also added their voices in support.
It hurts to be #TanushreeDutta rn. To be alone, questioned. No woman wants publicity that opens the floodgates of trolling and insensitivity.What happened to her on set was intimidation.Her only fault was she didn't back down-takes a special courage to be #TanushreeDutta.- TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) September 27, 2018
If my previous tweet sounds vague let me clarify it. This should stop the questioning of intention of Tanushree Datta because there is a witness account of what happened and @janiceseq85 is as credible as the come .— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) September 28, 2018
If a women speaks out about abuse, you listen. Even if it's on her deathbed 50 years after the incident,you listen. If you ask why she didn't speak earlier or you rush to dismiss her, the problem is with you. There will be investigation; but first, listen. Period. #TanushreeDutta— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) September 28, 2018
Perhaps this is the jumpstart Bollywood requires for its own #MeToo moment. Tanushree Dutta said that when she spoke about being harassed by Nana Patekar 10 years ago - he allegedly 'grabbed' her while filming a song and is also accused of sending political goons to intimidate and threaten the actress when she refused his advances - she was silenced and cast out of Bollywood. Janice Sequeira confirms that the official version was "heroine being difficult and uncooperative."
Even now, Bollywood's first reaction was a refusal to comment (Amitabh Bachchan) and a cautious, diplomatic statement from Aamir Khan. Filmmaker Farah Khan posted a photo of a smiling Nana Patekar with Housefull 4 co-stars Kriti Sanon and Pooja Hegde, also smiling as if oblivious of the accusations against Mr Patekar.
Twinkle's husband Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth have been named by Tanushree Dutta as having known of Nana Patekar's alleged bad behaviour yet working with him in films. But not all actors looked the other way, she said. Ms Dutta told DNA that Irrfan Khan and Suniel Shetty stood up for her while filming Chocolate when the director (Vivek Agnihotri, whom she didn't name) allegedly instructed her to 'take her clothes off and dance's for a scene.
On Friday, Nana Patekar's lawyer told ANI that they are taking legal action against the actress, saying: "She has made false allegations and has spoken untruth. We will send the notice later today which will be basically a notice seeking apology for her statements making allegations."
The fire, however, has been lit.