Workplace harassment can take place in any industry including Bollywood. Recently, actor-model Mandana Karimi alleged that the producer of her upcoming film ‘Koka Kola’ Mahendra Dhariwal mentally harassed her on the sets and called her names, reports The Times of India.
The Indian Express quoted her saying, “What happened on November 13 has shaken me up. It was the last day of my shoot and I wanted to wrap up and get going. I had another meeting lined up. On the last two days of the shoot, I had come in early and clocked in the hours, though the shoot wasn’t all about me. A little before wrap-up, the producer asked me for an hour more on the set, which I told him I can’t do as I have a meeting lined up. He said okay, and I went back on set to finish my last few takes. We were shooting for a song. But the moment I left the set and went to my vanity van to change, he forcefully came inside and started shouting, ‘You can’t leave. I asked you to do an extra hour and you have to listen because I am the producer and I have paid you.’”
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“He started saying, ‘Humne paise diye hain, lekin tumko kaam nahi karna hai, paise bhi poore chahiye, blackmail karti hai.’ After my last take, I went to my vanity van and told my spot boy to not let anyone in while I was changing my clothes. I thought the door was locked, but it wasn’t. In a few seconds, the producer came inside, since I was changing, I requested him to wait outside, but he refused and continued screaming. Luckily, the stylist (Hitendra Kapopara) ran into the vanity and pulled him out before things became uglier.”
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Hindustan Times quoted the man in question saying,
“On the last day, the shift was from 9 am to 9 pm. We had a set created and a song was being shot. At 7 pm, she said she has to leave. I requested her that we have to complete this today and I asked if she could wait for an hour more. She said okay and went back on set. At 8 pm, she got a call and she went into her vanity van. I ran after her to stop her from leaving because we still had a few shots left. I told her I would run into a loss as I will have to shoot the next day again. She wasn’t willing to stay back, and that is when I gave her an earful because she started packing up. Mandana started making videos of me screaming; I told her I am not scared.”
“I entered the vanity van in about 10-15 seconds after she entered, and I knocked before entering. She asked me to step in. Public khadi thi bahar, and I was standing on the steps of the van. I requested for an additional 15 minutes, but I lost my cool when she started acting up. Later, she came back on the shooting floor and started making my videos. There were hundreds of people on the sets who can vouch for what I am saying. Prince, director-choreographer Ahmed Khan’s associate, who was choreographing, will tell you. In one-and-a-half years, for a contract of Rs 7 lakhs, she has taken Rs 17 lakhs, cash transactions included. I am okay with spending the money, but she has behaved unprofessionally with us.”
What do you think after hearing both sides of the story?