MeToo fallout: Yash Raj Films sacks top executive after anonymous actress alleges sexual harassment

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Yash Raj Films, arguably one of the most powerful production houses of Bollywood, on Tuesday sacked a top executive of the company after an anonymous woman alleged sexual harassment.

In a statement, the YRF said, “Yash Raj Films terminates the services of Mr Ashish Patil: Vice President-Brand Partnerships and Talent Management & Business and Creative Head- Y Films with immediate effect.”

The announcement by Yash Raj Films came nearly a week after an aspiring actress had anonymously accused him of sexual harassment. In her text messages, shared by a woman on Twitter, the model-actress had alleged that Patil had forcibly kissed her and made sexual advances. In her account, the woman had said that she was desperate so allowed Patil to get ‘what he wanted.’ She went on to write that she did not resist because she was desperate for an opportunity.

Yash Raj Films is awaiting the release of its next big project Thugs of Hindostan starring Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh. Aamir’s wife Kiran Rao has already announced that she will not work with any ‘proven offenders’ of sexual violence in future.

This had followed a joint statement by Aamir and Kiran Rao announcing that they had stepped away from the next film Mogul, which was meant to be a biopic on the T-Series founder Gulshan Kumar. They had taken the decision after ‘someone’ associated with their project was accused of sexual harassment.

Ashish Patil has since made his social media account on Twitter private blocking the access of others to his feed. He had dismissed the allegations, terming them as dismissed as ‘untrue and fabricated’ and ‘agenda driven.’

“YRF has earnestly requested the survivor to kindly step forward and share her account of the incidents to the Presiding Officer of our Internal Complaints Committee who would maintain utmost confidentiality. We seek her kind cooperation in the investigation so that we can appropriately address this issue. We are more than willing to extend our full support and cooperation to address this serious allegation. YRF has zero tolerance towards any form of sexual exploitation or harassment of women and we shall take the strictest necessary action against the alleged perpetrator, if the allegations of sexual harassment are found to be true,” the spokesperson of YRF was quoted by News18.

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