In yet another explosive revelation, actor Tanushree Dutta has accused Vivek Agnihotri of once asking her to undress and dance while shooting for Chocolate in 2005.
Speaking to DNA, the former Miss India Universe said that Agnihotri had told her, “jao jaake kapde utaar ke naacho. (Go, undress and dance.)” Tanushree said that she would have been forced to face the humiliation had Irrfan Khan, her co-star in Chocolate not intervened and rebuked Agnihotri.
Tanushree said, “This guy (Vivek Agnihotri) wanted me to give cues to an actor (Irrfan Khan). It was an actor’s close-up. It was not even my shot. I was not even going to be in the shot. It was the actor’s close-up and he had to just look at something and give expressions. This director, he told me jao jaake kapde utaar ke naacho, usko cues do.”
Expressing her gratitude for ‘gentleman’ Irrfan, the Aashiq Banaya Aapne actor said that he reportedly told Agnihotri, “I don’t need her to take off her coat and dance for me to give facial expressions…What are you talking about? I can give my closeup. Mujhe acting aati hai.”
Tanushree also said that another actor, who came to her defence was Suneil Shetty. She said, “Suneil Shetty also spoke up. He was also there, he heard it and he got offended by it. He was like, ‘Main aayun kya wahaan cues dene ke liye?‘ Yeah of course, there are good people in the industry. Both, Irrfan Khan and Suniel Shetty spoke up. Suneil scolded that guy.”
She continued, “This was Irrfan Khan. I really appreciated that he actually spoke up like that because it was his close-up shot. I’m not in the frame. He had to look at me and give some expressions. Why do I have to dance in front of him for him to give expressions on his close-up shot. This director tells me ‘jao jaake kapde utaar ke naacho’. I was shocked!”
Tanushree’s explosive revelations on the rampant sexual harassment in Bollywood has reignited the debate on India’s own #MeToo campaign. She had first accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her during the shooting of Life Ok Horn Please. She had then alleged that Patekar had hired goons of Raj Thackeray’s MNS to attack her car, which had her parents inside it.
Patekar has refused to respond to her allegations saying that he may even contemplate taking legal action against her.
Tanushree had left India and was outside the country for over two years to focus on her meditation and spiritual journey. She had become a talk of the town because of her considerable change in her shape after she reappeared in India last month.
Meanwhile condemnation has poured in for Agnihotri for allegedly sexually harassing Tanushree. Film critic Anna MM Vetticad wrote, “Stop shaming women who do not out sexual predators. Instead laud women who do, and understand that speaking up often – actually, usually – comes with terrible consequences.”
Analyst Ravi Nair tweeted, “Bigoted idiot @vivekagnihotri who keeps preaching nationalism and morality to others is a sexist moron. This MCP told actress Tanusree Dutta “jao, jake kapda utarke Nacho”!”
Journalist Swati Chaturvedi tweeted sarcastically, “So sanskari Vivek A.”
Agnihotri has been a flag-bearer of the Hindutva ideology since Narendra Modi became the prime minister in 2014. He along with his wife Pallavi Joshi has often been at the forefront to defend the Modi government for every questionable decision on governance. Not too long ago, Joshi had released a video defending the government on the Rafale scam.
Meanwhile, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan have come under attack for declining to comment on this issue of sexual harassment.