“Don't look to just your superstars to speak up. Be your own role models and follow the voice of your conscience,” Freida wrote in a strong statement.

India stand up speak up Actor Freida Pinto comes out in support of Tanushree
news Sexual harassment Wednesday, October 03, 2018 - 14:21

Days after Tanushree Dutta’s interview with Zoom TV, where the actor alleged that veteran Nana Patekar had sexually harassed her on sets of the film Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008, Indo-American actor Freida Pinto has voiced her support.

A resounding silence followed the first 24 hours after Tanushree spoke out, though a few Bollywood actors have since rallied behind her. Freida is latest to join them, through an Instagram post with the words, “I Believe Tanushree Dutta.” She included a long caption, where she made expressed her solidarity and support for the trauma Tanushree has detailed from a decade ago.

Freida said she believes her, despite not knowing Tanushree to personally or having been present when the incident happened. “I do know what Truth, Hurt and Abuse sounds like. The same way millions of people in the world know that Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford is NOT a Liar or an attention seeking, tantrum throwing overgrown child,” Freida wrote, referring to an ongoing case involving an assault allegation against United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

Praising Tanushree for coming forward with her story, Freida said her account should “shake the very core of a nation and an ideology that for too long has gotten away with heinous crimes against women and where the ugliness of misogyny has dominated the rights [sic].”

Survivors of sexual crimes are frequently dismissed when they remain silent for months or years after the incident, but Freida emphasized that stories like Tanushree’s do not become irrelevant because of the passage of time. Freida wrote, “Her story is not a carton of milk that expires after a few days, ready to be discarded. So trolls: please do what you do best but it is not going to change the truth.”

Freida urged the nation to support Tanushree, and not wait for other actors to do so. “India - Stand Up, Speak Up. Don't look to just your superstars to speak up. Be your own role models and follow the voice of your conscience,” she said.  

Read Freida’s full post here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today, I interrupt my feed for a bit from all the fashion week poses to stand by what I truly Believe. I Believe Tanushree Dutta! I don't need to know her personally, neither have been present on that horrendous day she got bullied, abused both sexually and psychologically, intimidated and shut down inorder to corroborate her story. However, I do know what Truth, Hurt and Abuse sounds like. The same way millions of people in the world know that Dr. Christine Blasey- Ford is NOT a Liar or an attention seeking, tantrum throwing overgrown child. I add my voice to the other voices coming out in support of Tanushree's bravery because God knows this is not going to be easy for you, Tanushree. But what you have done is monumental and important and it has to shake the very core of a nation and an ideology that for too long has gotten away with heinous crimes against women and where the ugliness of misogyny has dominated the rights and suppressed any voice that has dared to speak up. Also, even if someone speaks up ( and in Tanushree's case- speaks up AGAIN) 10 years later, it doesn't dilute or nullify a factual, verified, double verified truth. Her story is not a carton of milk that expires after a few days, ready to be discarded. So trolls : please do what you do best but it is not going to change the Truth. India - Stand Up, Speak Up. Don't look to just your superstars to speak up. Be your own role models and follow the voice of your conscience. Follow the truth and stand by a woman's right to be her own wind keeper. You may just end up setting an example for many others who probably need your grit and courage to speak up. I SUPPORT TANUSHREE DUTTA.

A post shared by Freida Pinto (@freidapinto) on

Apart from Freida, the Cine & TV Artists Association (CINTAA) also released a statement on Tuesday in support of Tanushree. “CINTAA strongly condemns any act that outrages the modesty of any individual and any form of sexual harassment is unacceptable to us,” the group said.  

They also decried the decision taken by the CINTAA Executive Committee in 2008 when Tanushree had filed a complaint of sexual harassment against Nana Patekar. “After going through Tanushree Dutta's complaint, which was filed with the then Executive Committee of CINTAA in March 2008, we feel that the decision was taken in the Joint Dispute Settlement Committee of CINTAA and Indian Film and TV Producers Council (which was then known as Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programme Producers) in July 2008 was not appropriate, as the chief grievance of sexual harassment wasn't even addressed,” according to the statement.

Actors including Priyanka Chopra, Twinkle Khanna, Swara Bhaskar, Richa Chadha, Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sen Sharma are among those who have praised Tanushree for speaking out.

Comedian-actor Vir Das wrote: "For men, a big part of the #MeToo movement is listening to women tell their story. Supporting them with belief. Tanushree Dutta is telling hers. Be a good man, shut your mouth, and listen to it. There are many many more like it in our industry. And they deserve to be heard.”

"An actor's professional choices should not dictate how they get treated in the work place. All work places must be safe and fair. If you're bringing up an actor's filmography to justify the harassment they faced.... You are a piece of sh*t," he added.

Several celebrities referenced journalist Janice Sequeira's viral Twitter thread in which she recalled the incident as Tanushree described. Janice was a cub reporter in Mumbai at the time and was covering behind the scenes for the song Tanushree was shooting for Horn Ok Pleassss. She corroborated Tanushree’s account of her car being vandalized by goons allegedly sent by Nana Patekar.

Others, including Horn Ok Pleassss director Rakesh Sarang and choreographer Ganesh Acharya, who had choregraphed the song Tanushree was shooting when the harassment occurred, supported Nana Patekar. Ganesh even dismissed Tanushree’s account of her car being attacked altogether. However, a video of the same has been shared widely recently, confirming this aspect of Tanushree’s story.

Meanwhile, Nana Patekar has denied Tanushree's accusations. "What does she mean by sexual harassment... there were 50 to 100 people on set that day," he told a Mirror Now journalist over the phone. According to news agency ANI, the 67-year-old actor's lawyer will be sending a legal notice to Tanushree seeking an apology for her statements. 

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