MeToo: Sajid Khan faces one-year suspension from IFTDA

Sajid khan

Mumbai, Dec 12: Bollywood filmmaker Sajid Khan who was accused of sexually harassing multiple women, has been suspended for a year by the Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA), it was announced on Wednesday.

Sajid was being accused of sexual harassment by Saloni Chopra, Rachel White, Simran Suri and journalist Karishma Upadhyay. The three opened up about their heart-wrenching ordeals on their respective social media handles.

Read More: #MeToo: Sajid Khan accused of sexual harassment by three women

Bipasha Basu, Dia Mirza and Lara Dutta also came down heavily on the director.

Following the PoSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) Investigation Closure Report of December 7, 2018 – IFTDA – following the Internal Complaints Committee’s (ICC) recommendation, has suspended Sajid’s membership for a period of one year with immediate effect. A copy of the letter was sent to Sajid on Tuesday evening.

His membership will be reviewed after a year.

Shrabani Deodhar, a filmmaker and IFTDA member, said in a statement: “IFTDA’s ICC had marathon meetings and have come to the conclusion of cancelling Sajid Khan’s membership for one year, which will be revived after the completion of that period.”

Advocate Mrunalini Deshmukh said: “We cannot recommend that someone’s right to livelihood be snatched away for life. It was not a legal trial and neither were we led by evidence or witnesses like it is in the court of law. This was a redressal committee set up by the association of directors.

“We spoke to both the parties involved and tried to get prima facie understanding of the matter. The outcome should be seen as a deterrent for those riding a high horse, living in ivory towers and thinking that they can get away with any wrongful behaviour because they enjoy a position of power.”

Deshmukh said the action is also to say that any movement for the larger good has to be carried out responsibly and seriously.

“In this scenario, women cannot be permitted to make the #MeTooIndia movement frivolous by doing things to settle scores or to gain five minutes of fame. A larger responsibility lies on them to lead this movement correctly. The act, law, principle and the movement are good but for sustaining them well, women have to also act responsibly,” she added.

Copies of the letter suspending Sajid have been shared with the Federation of Western India Cine Employees, the parent body of all the crafts involved in filmmaking, for their consideration and perusal.

After the allegations, Sajid stepped down as Housefull 4 director and was replaced by Farhad Samji. Also, actors Akshay Kumar and Farhan Akhtar stood by the victims and did not support Sajid.

This came after the #MeToo movement gained momentum in India starting with actor Tanushree Dutta accusing Nana Patekar of harassing her. Since then, incidents of harassment and sexual misconduct have come out in the open, with allegations being levelled against many personalities in the media and entertainment industry, including Subhash Ghai, Vikas Bahl, Alok Nath and Rajat Kapoor.

Sajid was in the middle of the shooting of his film “Housefull 4” when the allegation of sexual harassment came into the picture and as the matter took a serious turn, he stepped down from being the film’s director. He was replaced by Farhad Samji. Also, actors Akshay Kumar and Farhan Akhtar stood by the victims and did not support Sajid.

This came after the #MeToo movement gained momentum in India starting with actor Tanushree Dutta accusing Nana Patekar of harassing her. Since then, incidents of harassment and sexual misconduct have come out in the open, with allegations being levelled against many personalities in the media and entertainment industry, including Subhash Ghai, Vikas Bahl, Alok Nath and Rajat Kapoor.

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