‘Queen’ surprised Hindi filmgoers with its refreshing take on feminism and woman empowerment. The film was widely appreciated by the audience and critics alike. And at the center of it all was the film’s director Vikas Bahl, who was applauded by everyone for bringing such a good film to Bollywood.
And that’s why this news should shock most of you.
A woman employee of Phantom Films has accused ‘Queen’ director Vikas Bahl of molestation during a Goa trip a couple of months ago. The other stakeholders in Phantom Films have started an investigation into the incident.
“We (Reliance Entertainment and Phantom Films) have taken a hard stand, based on what we have heard and investigated.”
The company set up an investigation committee according to the Vishaka guidelines to deal with the escalating situation.
The situation is escalating because according to one of the sources Mumbai Mirror interviewed, there are more than 3 molestation victims who have accused Vikas Bahl. He has been told to formally step down from his position.
According to one of the stakeholders in Phantom Films who wished to remain anonymous –
“There is a young girl on whom an intoxicated Vikas forced himself while they were in Goa. He has behaved badly in the past as well but when this specific complaint came, we needed to act on it.”
Vikas Bahl himself has categorically denied all the accusations. He has even gone on to say that the woman has never been an employee at Phantom Films and no investigation of any sort has happened.
“People really like me. I don’t know why anyone would stoop to this level.”
His friend and Phantom Films partner, Madhu Matena also denied the allegations and said that no action has been taken of any sort against Vikas Bahl.
The whole incident and Vikas Bahl’s statement sounds eerily similar to the TVF incident. First come the molestation accusations and then come the denials by the accused. Here too the accused has claimed that the ‘victims’ were never employees.
And both of the accused have multiple accusations against them.
And both of them have made films/web series focusing on women empowerment.
The only difference here is that according to the reports, Phantom Films have actually started an investigation.
Let’s see if the investigations actually bring out the truth.
News Source – Mumbai Mirror