As Vikas Bahl’s ex-wife Richa Dubey claimed that Kangana Ranaut was misusing the #MeToo movement by accusing the Queen director of sexually inappropriate behaviour, Ranaut hit out at Richa.
Bahl was accused by a woman, who was a previously employed by Phantom Films, of sexually harassing her repeatedly after the first incident in 2015 in Goa. Phantom Films — co-founded by Bahl with Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena — was dissolved last Saturday after the allegations.
Post that, Kangana had alleged that “there was something wrong with” Bahl. “I often told him off. He was scared of me but still every time we met socially greeted and hugged each other, he’d bury his face in my neck and hold me really tight and breathe in the smell of my hair. It took me great amount of strength and effort to pull myself out of his embrace,” the actor said.
Richa Dubey took to Twitter on Friday and questioned Kangana, who has worked with Bahl in Queen, on why she continued to be friends with the filmmaker despite his inappropriate actions. “This is going beyond boundaries and tolerance level now this is not a #MeToo but a meme. I want to ask all the women if a man makes you uncomfortable and touches you inappropriately would you have a good friendship with that man?” she wrote.
— richa dubey (@richviks) October 12, 2018
Dubey added that “would you not cut ties with that man and make your interaction minimum with that person? Or would you still giggle and go out wining and dining with that person or because you want to work with that man because he is good at his work.”
Dubey then mentioned certain “loopholes” in the actress’ story that included performing together (Kangana and Vikas) an “item number” at Madhu Mantena and Masaba Gupta’s wedding in 2015 to sharing “extremely friendly messages” till date. “You are willing to bypass this? Especially when you are strong, fearless and a gutsy person… I don’t understand this at all.”
Dubey slammed the actress and said that “this is not a #MeToo but a meme”. She concluded by saying that she was not interested in a media battle with Kangana and asked her to stop.
Meanwhile, Kangana hit out at Richa and told a leading channel, “Another ex-wife for her ex-husband’s rescue. My only question is, why do they leave their holier-than-thou husbands in the first place? Stop this bullsh*t that we had a friendly divorce, perfectly amicable, and we are a family. You don’t wake up one fine morning and divorce a godly man, so please help us secure our work environment and make sure these men don’t spoil more lives.”
Kangana lashed out at Richa for belittling #MeToo and called for unity.
“Women should not stand against each other. This is the time to support each other and fight against the people who harass them. Ofcourse, Vikas’s wife will have a different experience. Being an ex-wife, his social behaviour may not be known to her that well, the equation has changed so may be her experience is different, shall we settle at that? Like I said, the harasser and the victims who have shared their harassment are different from my experience, this maybe the case but I am not saying that the other person is wrong or Richa is wrong. Everybody can have a different experience. Not every individual is the same with everyone. Sometimes the behaviour also changes according to the situation.,
“So, maybe her experience is different. Me saying that she is wrong or I am right will be totally inappropriate. But the bottom line is that we need to make this place secure and all that is happening is good. The moment allegations are being raised, people are taking away work from them. Otherwise these people are shameless.”
Kangana further praised Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar by saying, “I’m impressed with their decision of not working with people who have allegations of harassment, otherwise this will just become a shallow talk. There should have been something concrete coming out and what is concrete is that taking power away from these people will only lead to betterment. Without power, who will these people then harrass?”
When asked about Sajid Khan and Alok Nath’s name also being dragged in this, Kangana said, “Well, I don’t know them personally and it’s high time that women don’t get questioned for raising their voice. Women have been questioned for way too long. Not all the people get quota (reservation) are poor but still they get it as it is for the upliftment of an entire section of society. Similarly if one woman out of 100 is raising her voice and using this opportunity for herself, let her do that. This is not the time to question women! This is the bottom line of the new revolution.”
“People who think I am doing all this for a film promotion are stupid people they should understand if I did all this from promotion do they realize I have never done a Khan film. If they have a little IQ then then they must think that I have never worked with Khans, I have said no to Yash Raj Films, I have gone on Karan Johar’s show and said whatever was needed and they think I am bothered about promoting a film. Films keep coming and going. But what is happening now is amazing, it’s a big shift and do you realise how good this world is going to be for the coming generation, the daughters of tomorrow,” she added.