Anurag Kashyap rather dramatically announced dissolution of Phantom Films, co-founded by Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikas Bahl and himself. After what their fans called it as the ‘end of dream for cinema goers’ there was an investigation on the grounds of the partnership was dissolved. Thus, sexual harrassment charges which were put on his ex business partner Vikas Bahl in 2015 came to light again and the discussion gained support on social media, in the light of the ongoing #MeToo movement. This debate started after Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta came out in open about sexual harrassment by her colleague and veteran star Nana Patekar on the sets of Horn Ok Pleasss in 2008. Anurag has given out a long statement talking about the charges on Vikas and his stand on it. He claims to have named and shamed him at every opportunity he got and stood by the woman who came forward to share her horrific experience with Bahl in 2015 during Bombay Velvet promotion to a publication. All this, hours after Phantom was announced to be dissolved.
Anurag said that legally he had limited options to take action against Bahl but he made sure that he did not keep the things under wraps and corroborated with the press when allegations were pressed against Bahl. He apologised to the woman saying that he was ill-advised to take a proper action and thanked her for placing the trust in him with her story. Here’s what he said: “Since we were told then that there was very little that we could do, we decided to take a strong moral stand, while also taking steps in our power as part of the company. We first suspended him. We barred him from the premises, took away his signing authority. If that wasn’t enough, I named and shamed him privately amongst those whoever asked about it. It was me who was responsible for bringing out Vikas’s name publicly by speaking with Mumbai Mirror on an anonymous basis and the publication carried a front-page article about the incident. Nothing about it was under wraps. It’s been out there for more than a year.”
Anurag Kashyap admitted to technical hiccups he faced while dealing with the case and the reason why the woman in question did not choose to go the legal way. He also spoke about his shortcomings as a co-founder in taking action against Bahl. He said, “This could perhaps be why she eventually backed out of signing the document that was being put in place capturing the terms of how this would be dealt with. Another factor that contributed to her going through with finalizing the document as the fact that she had just started a relationship and her boyfriend, who had been with her through all this, was just as freaked out and mistrusting of us. Since there was such a lack of trust and a deep-seated belief that we would protect Vikas and not her, we were severely hamstrung in our ability to not take any further action. We were told that we were handicapped by two things, that we were dealing with an equal promoter/ director who actually ran the company and that there was no provision in our contract to sack him on the grounds of misconduct.”
He apologized to the woman and signed off, “I am deeply sorry to the woman in question. This will never happen on my work premises again.”
My statement in light of the recent HuffPost article and breaking up of Phantom . There are two pages.. pic.twitter.com/WCAsaj6uFR
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) October 7, 2018