Tanushree Dutta can be credited for sparking India’s #MeToo movement. After she accused Nana Patekar of harassing her, several other females from the industry (and even other fields) spoke out about the harassment they had to endure at the hand of powerful men.
Read more on the Nana Patekar / Tanushree Dutta controversy.
What About Bigg Boss?
There’s speculation that Tanushree Dutta has raked this issue (after a decade) for publicity and enter the reality show Bigg Boss.
Here’s what Tanushree has to say about that.
“They are saying Bollywood comeback, Bigg Boss…so what? I am not disparaging those inside the Bigg Boss house, but do people really think for somebody who walked on the Miss Universe stage and went ahead to do 16-18 Bollywood films, my aspirations in life would be so limited? Isn’t there anything bigger than Bigg Boss or Bollywood they can think of? Even if so, does that take away from my story or what I have been through?”
No More Bollywood for Tanushree
“I am through with this Bollywood chapter. I am a US citizen. I was disillusioned, traumatised and walked away despite 30-40 offers. People called and supported me, but there was no public reaction, no condemnation. If I had walked onto another film set after that (the incident on Horn Ok Pleassss), someone would have thought ‘You can get away with everything with this girl. You can even say s**t about her’.”
Tanushree left for the United States after the 2010 Bollywood film Apartment and returned to India only recently this year (2018). Tanushree’s debut film Aashiq Banaya Aapne co-starring Emraan Hashmi was a smash hit at the box-office.
Tanushree Disappointed With Big B
Tanushree has received support from Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Twinkle Khanna and many other celebrities, but says she was disappointed by actor Amitabh Bachchan, whose response to the controversy was: ”Neither is my name Tanushree Dutta nor Nana Patekar”.
She says, “I’m hurt, as these are people who do movies on social causes. They play roles in films and the audience applauds. But when it comes to standing up and doing something about what is happening in front of you, there are these evasive statements that don’t make sense.”
Here’s what other celebrities said on the Tanushree Dutta controversy.
Kangana Ranaut: She supported Tanushree and said, “I appreciate her courage to speak about alleged harassment that has been caused to her. It’s her and the accused’s fundamental right to speak about their experience of the same situation. Such dialogue is very healthy and it will bring about a lot of awareness. Unfortunately, the way most Indian men are raised by their mothers; they even lack basic etiquettes like lifting the lid before peeing.”
She also said, “Raja beta needs to be told the meaning of ‘NO’ as well. It’s in the interest of society that the Raja betas are told what their parents fail to tell them. They must know that the fundamental human rights are the same for men and women. Trust me, it will be news to some of them.”
Ishita Dutta (Tanushree’s younger sister): “What she is trying to achieve is that she is trying to set an example. If something like this happens, it is not your fault. You should not shy away from it. And speak about it.”
“I still remember, I was at home and I saw the video; people jumping on the car, banging the glass, the horrified and terrified face of my sister and family. I was so scared because I wasn’t there with them. I didn’t know what to do. That memory will never go away.”
Daisy Shah (choreographer Ganesh Acharya’s assistant on the song Tanushree is referring to): “Why would anybody want to talk about sexual harassment that person has gone through and that too after a decade. There must be a lava inside her (Tanushree) that burst out after ten years and why not! I mean she has gone through it and she should definitely speak up.”
Rakhi Sawant (She replaced Tanushree in the song): “Ganesh (Acharya) told me she (Tanushree) was part of this song, and that she had already shot for a bit, but for the past four-five hours, she had locked herself in the van and was unresponsive. I asked her makeup and hair team what was happening, and they said Tanushree was unconscious for the past three-four hours. I was surprised to learn that she was high on drugs and had fainted.”
Rimi Sen: “My experience of working with him was all good, except that I felt he was slightly lonely in life, which is why he sometimes got a bit frustrated. He was short-tempered but not a sexual offender. Yes, I noticed that he loved the company of women, maybe because he was lonely. But he always treated me well. In fact, he treated me like his daughter. Also, we should know his side of the story before jumping to any conclusion. A lot depends on the women of the industry and their ambition. If you are talking about the #MeToo movement, there are many offenders, including the 90’s stars.”
About Tanushree, she said, “She is a good girl and she is honest. She has never craved unnecessary attention by blaming people without any reason. If she claims this thing, she may be right but it depends on exactly what resulted to the incident between Nana and her.”
Simi Garewal: “#TanushreeDutta I’ve heard horror stories thru the years of this predatory jungle. Some girls became stars. Others disappeared quietly. Yes they took away your career. They darkened 10 years of your life. But they can’t take away your voice & your courage!!”
Sonam Kapoor: “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 up to us to stand together.”
Koena Mitra: “Let’s be honest, we need this ‘Gundagiri’ to stop! We need to stop the men in the industry from dictating the narrative. How can one producer write the destiny of a million aspirations who want to join the industry” How can one big male actor call the shots and decide who can and cannot be a working actress” This attitude is sickening.”
Shilpa Shetty: “I don’t know what happened exactly. But I think there shouldn’t be any kind of violence or pressure on any person, whether male or female, at workplace. I feel pained that she has been through so much of trauma.”