‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ Actors Accuse Producer Of Non-payment & Sexual Misconduct

‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ (TMKOC) is one of the longest-running sitcoms that got Indian audiences hooked. Each character has a different but important role to play in the serial and with the kind of content they push on TV, it does seem like the makers are trying to highlight the problematic things that are plaguing society through comedy.

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However, when many popular characters in the show like Dayaben (Disha Vakani), Taarak Mehta (Shailesh Lodha), and Anjali Mehta (Neha Mehta) among others bid adieu to the show mid-way, it raised a lot of eyebrows.

Very recently, Jennifer Mistry Bansiwal, who essayed the role of Roshan Singh Sodhi on the TV show left the show after being associated with it for 15 long years.

Bansiwal, however, also levied some serious sexual harassment at the workplace allegations against the show’s producer Asit Modi, project head Sohail Ramani, and executive producer Jatin Bajaj which led to her exit from the show.

India Today quoted Bansiwala saying, “Yes, I’ve left the show. It is right that I shot my last episode of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah on March 6 this year. I had to leave the sets as I was subjected to humiliation and insult at the hands of Mr. Sohil Ramani and the other executive producer Jatin Bajaj.”

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Sharing about a specific incident, she said, “It was March 7, my marriage anniversary and Holi when the incident happened. I was asked to get off the sets four times by Sohail Ramani and the executive producer tried to stop my car by standing behind it and was not allowing me to leave the sets. I told them I worked on the show for 15 years and they couldn’t forcefully stop me and while I was leaving Sohil threatened me. I have filed a case of sexual harassment against Asit Kumarr Modi, Sohail Ramani, and Jatin Bajaj.”

Modi, on the other hand, called her allegations ‘baseless’ and reportedly said, “We will take legal actions as she’s trying to defame me and the show both. Since we terminated her services, she’s making these baseless allegations.”

But, after Jennifer, actor Monika Bhadoriya, who played the role of ‘Bawri’, came forward and complained that the producer didn’t pay her dues for 3 months after she left the show in 2019.

DNA quoted her saying, “I have fought for my money for over a year. Unhone har artist ka paisa rok rakha hai – whether it was Raj (Anadkat), Gurucharan (Singh) Bhai – sirf torture karne ke liye. Unke paas paise ki kami nahi hai.”

She also revealed that she was forced to work with the team even when her late mother was undergoing cancer treatment.

“I would spend the night at the hospital and they would call me early in the morning for a shoot. Even if I would say I am not in the right state of mind, they would force me to come. The worst part was that even after coming on a shoot, I would wait, mera kuch kaam hi nahi hota tha (there was no work for me to do).”

Not just this, she was also called to work days after her mom’s demise.

“I was in a trauma but he only called me seven days after my mother’s death, asking me to report on the set. When I said I wasn’t in condition, his team said, ‘Hum aapko paisa de rahe hai, hum jab chahe aap ko khada hona padega chahe aap ki Mummy admit ho ya koi’ (we are giving you money, you have to come to the set whenever asked, even if your mom is hospitalized or someone else).”

“I went to the set because I had no option and I would just cry every day. Upar se unka torture and misbehave bhi karte the (they even use to torture and misbehave). They would call me on the set an hour before the call time. Itni gundagardi hai unke set pe. He (Asit) says ‘I’m a God’.”

Non-payment of dues was also the reason why Shailesh Lodha and Neha Mehta left the show.

It’s so crazy to think of what goes behind the scenes on the sets of TV shows that showcase how pro-society and pro-women they are. Such a shame!

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