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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Chunky Panday defends Sajid Khan: ‘He is loud and can be misunderstood’

Chunky Panday speaks about Sajid Khan who was accused of sexual harassment last year. He said ‘there must have been a lot of miscommunication that caused it (#MeToo)”.

bollywood Updated: Sep 17, 2019 10:29 IST
Chunky Panday has worked with Sajid Khan in Housefull franchise.
Chunky Panday has worked with Sajid Khan in Housefull franchise.

Just about a year back, the #MeToo movement echoed in Bollywood as Tanushree Dutta named Nana Patekar as the actor who harassed her on a film set in 2008, ultimately driving her to quit films. It helped many to speak up, naming and shaming Bollywood bigwigs who reportedly sexually exploited women. One of them was Sajid Khan, forced to step down as director of Housefull 4 after several women accused him of sexual harassment.

But recently, Chunky Panday, who worked with Sajid in films such as Housefull (2010), Himmatwala (2013) and Housefull 3 (2016), and has known Sajid personally for years, said there must have been “miscommunication that caused it (#MeToo)”.

“Sajid is loud and flamboyant, someone who can say anything and get away with it. But he doesn’t mean half the things he says. People can misunderstand him easily. That is what has led to all this and caused trouble for him. I am no one to judge. I wasn’t there with him to say either way. These things came to light so he paid a price for being a loudmouth and somewhere he will have to clarify,” Chunky said.

On October 12, 2018, Sajid tweeted, “In the wake of the allegations against me and pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of my film Houseful4, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations... I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgment till the truth is out (sic).”

Incidentally, Chunky’s career got a fresh lease of life thanks to his character in the Housefull series, Aakhri Pasta. He also stars in Housefull 4.

However, Ashoke Pandit, president of the Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association, says, Chunky can express his opinion as Sajid is his friend. But that doesn’t change anything. We, at IFTDA, conducted an investigation in the matter. After we received the complaints, we dealt with it seriously. The Internal Complaints Committee (IC) comprising of two senior lawyers and committee of IFTDA, got the statements of the women who accused him of sexual harassment and we came to a decision that Sajid was responsible for misbehaving with the women. That’s why Sajid was banned for a year.”

Bollywood back in biz after #MeToo

Vikas Bahl was reinstated as director of Super 30 after he was cleared of all sexual harassment charges following an internal inquiry.

Aamir Khan agreed to work with #MeToo accused director Subhash Kapoor on the Gulshan Kumar biopic though he had earlier distanced himself from the film after Subhash was accused by actor Geetika Tyagi of sexual harrassment.

Alok Nath was accused of sexually assaulting many women, but not removed from the Ajay Devgn-starrer De De Pyaar De. Ajay explained that Alok shot for the film much before the accusations surfaced and dropping him from the film would have been very difficult.

Anu Malik is rumoured to be back as a judge on Indian Idol after the channel removed as judge from the show.

First Published: Sep 17, 2019 10:28 IST

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