#MeToo? say #WeToo

A Bolly A-lister speaking out on sexual assault is rare

By Sulagana Biswas
  • Published 18.10.17

Truth's stranger than Pulp Fiction. October is the cruellest month for movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who lost his wife, job, friends and social standing in one dramatic swoop after facing numerous allegations of sexual predation. But what this has done is something pretty incredible. Celebrities are using hashtag #MeToo on Twitter to raise awareness on sexual assault and harassment.

After film and telly actress Alyssa Milano of Who's the Boss fame tweeted that if someone sexually assaulted replied "me too," it might "give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem," Twitter is breaking with thousands of people, including the likes of celebs Debra Messing, Anna Paquin, Anika Noni-Rose and Javier Muñoz sharing their "Me Too" stories.

Back home, how rare are chances of a #WeToo? A Bolly A-lister speaking out against sexual assault or casting couch is rare. Back in the '90s, gossip mags screamed about a certain pudgy filmmaker who'd reportedly made indecent proposals to his leading ladies. He certainly wasn't the only one.

But even if any woman spoke out, it was all juicy tabloid fodder, definitely not a serious statement against sexual predation.

Jump cut to 2017. Kangana Ranaut hogs primetime and headlines with her bombshell interviews of how Bollywood men abused, exploited and betrayed her. She's become a feminist icon for some, too outspoken for comfort for others.

Alleged ex-lovers Hrithik Roshan and Aditya Pancholi are hopping mad and running to lawyers. It's a merry media circus where everyone, from Farhan Akhtar to KRK, from Arnab Goswami to Vidya Balan, is upping TRPs. But if the real issue had been a wronged woman speaking out against the powerful Bollywood boys' club, it's now an overlong potboiler that has long lost the plot.