#MeToo effect: Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao withdraw from upcoming project

Subhash Kapoor

Ekta Kapoor and Kiran Rao were seen at the Producers Guild meeting.

While speaking to The Indian Express, Kapoor said, "I understand and respect Aamir Khan's and Kiran Rao's decision".

Aamir Khan has issued a statement distancing himself from what appears to be the Gulshan Kumar biopic Mogul, which was being produced by his banner and T-Series and directed by Subhash Kapoor.

Kiran is also the Chairperson of Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, which has dropped two movies - Rajat Kapoor's Kadakh and AIB's Chintu Ka Birthday - from its line-up in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against the actor-filmmaker and some members of the comedy collective, reported IANS. The Jolly LLB director had been accused of attempting to rape actress Geetika Tyagi in 2012.

"Two weeks ago, when traumatic #MeToo stories began emerging, it was brought to our attention that someone we were about to begin work with has been accused of sexual misconduct", the statement read. "It is our foremost duty to make our industry safe for everyone, make an industry that creates environment of equality and a better place to work".

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Referring to the recent cases of sexual harassment allegations levelled against various celebrities, the statement said, "We believe that this is an opportunity for the film industry to introspect and take concrete steps towards change".

Aamir and Rao said they were not in any position to pass a judgement on anyone as that is for the police and judiciary to do but stressed that a clean up was needed in the industry.

As the #MeeToo movement has taken rage in India, the Producers Guild of India made a decision to set up a committee to support the cause. Subhash said that since the matter is sub-judice, "he intends to prove his innocence in the court of law". When the producer of Mogul, Bhushan Kumar, was contacted by a leading daily, they were told that Subhash Kumar would no longer directing the film. "If your answer is latter, then for me it's nothing less then a khap panchayat mentality".

In the statement, the Dangal star wrote that Aamir Khan Productions has always had a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour of any kind, and while strongly condemning any act of sexual harassment, they equally condemn any and all false accusations in such cases.

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