With the #MeToo movement gaining momentum, actor-politician Kamal Haasan said Friday men accused of sexual harassment by women should respond to the allegations. The movement has gathered pace over the past a few days with a number of women speaking out on sexual harassment at workplace and support for them pouring in from various quarters. Asked for his response, Haasan initially said only “the accused should respond (to the allegations).”
“If all respond, it could be wrong; won’t be fair too,” the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief said. However, he added that if grievances were made in a “fair manner” then there would be no problem with that. “If they (women) say their grievances in a fair manner, there is no harm in that,” he said.
The #MeToo movement has witnessed celebrities such as Alok Nath, Nana Patekar, Kailash Kher, Rajat Kapoor and Vikas Bahl outed as alleged sexual predators. Award-winning Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu is also facing allegations of sexual harassment, including from singer Chinmanyi Sripaada. Haasan indicated such problems relating to women have been made in the past too.
“It (the accusation) should be made, but it should be fair,” he added. Following Hollywood’s #MeToo movement, which saw several women there speaking out about sexual harassment faced by them, many people are referring to actress Tanushree Dutta’s statement on Nana Patekar as the beginning of a similar campaign in Hindi film industry.
Dutta has accused Patekar of behaving inappropriately with her on the sets of a film in 2008. Following her allegations, women across various spheres, including journalists, have taken to social media, narrating their ordeal with their male colleagues.