Accused Of Sexual Misconduct By Three Women, Actor Rajat Kapoor Issues An Apology

Shock. Disgust. Shame. And apologies that are a little too late in their coming. The climate in the country right now is rife with all of the above. A single Twitter thread about comedian Utsav Chakraborty’s sexual misconduct with a host of women has triggered an avalanche. Women from all fields have been given the courage to point fingers at their harassers and assaulters. And the men? Their heads hang in shame.

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The very Bollywood that was shook with Tanushree Dutta’s allegations against veteran actor Nana Patekar is now bearing witness to a few other skeletons tumbling out of their closets. And it looks ugly.

A female journalist, who has been collating women’s stories of being harassed by prominent men in the media and entertainment spheres, shared allegations against actor Rajat Kapoor.

Image Courtesy: Twitter

The screenshots she shared were from two women who alleged that the actor had been inapporiate with them during conversations. A third allegation was made by a US-based model.

In the first incident, a journalist alleged that during a telephonic interview, Kapoor asked her some uncomfortable questions of a sexual nature. In the other instance, the actor allegedly borrowed fellow actor Saurabh Shukla’s phone to call her and ask her to shoot a film with him in an empty house. The woman also stated that Shukla was aware about this.

In light of the allegations, the Kapoor & Sons actor has issued an apology on Twitter.

Rajat Kapoor’s apology is one of a slew of apologies that have popped up on social media from prominent men who were named and shamed as harassers by women in a movement that is said to finally herald India’s #MeToo.

Disgraced comedian Utsav Chakraborty, journalist Anurag Verma, All India Bakchod and member Tanmay Bhat are amongst those who have apologised on social media for being the alleged harassers or being complacent when the incidents occured.

Author Chetan Bhagat, also named in one of the tweets, issued a lengthy apology on Facebook.

The much married author indicated in quite a few words that he had aplogised to his wife Anusha as well, and was sharing this statement after seeking her approval of the same.

Dear All,I would like to make a couple of points about the screenshots that someone has shared just a couple of hours…

Posted by Chetan Bhagat on Saturday, October 6, 2018

Another set of apologies and official statements emerged from the now disbanded Phantom Films’ partners, in light of a brilliant exposé that lay bare Vikas Bahl’s sexual assault of a female colleague in 2015 and the shocking cover up that lasted three years.

An article by HuffPost revealed how Vikas Bahl, the director of an acclaimed woman-empowerment themed film like Queen, had sexually assaulted a female crew member who was on crutches during the a pre-release party for Bombay Velvet in 2015. An despite her informing the partners of it, no action was taken.

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Following the exposé, the founders of the production house broke the news that they were dissolving, it being the only way to dissociate themselves from Bahl and do some damage control in light of the mess that had been made.

Directors Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane tweeted their official statements about the breaking up of Phantom Films, and how they had failed the victim in so many ways by not taking an action against Bahl for all this time.

Sceenwriter/lyricist Varun Grover and Masaan director Neeraj Ghaywan, who have been part of Phantom’s productions, also tweeted apologies for being complicit in some manner.

The apologies, at this juncture, may or may not bring relief to the survivors of these harassments and assaults. You could even go to the extent of calling them a little late, considering these women have had to live with the horrors for so long. However, what these apologies are doing now is showing fellow men a mirror.

It prompts the men to ask the women in their lives if their actions, even though they may seem innocent or ‘just a bit of harmless fun’ to them, are indeed making women uncomfortable. And if the answer is yes, or even a ‘maybe’, then they need to stop and apologise right then and there. Not years later. Because that level of ‘wokeness’ is what the world needs right now.

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