Almost a year since #MeToo rocked the Indian media industry, it appears to be business as usual for many of the accused. The latest instance is singer-composer Anu Malik, who has reportedly been rehired by Sony TV as a judge on singing reality show Indian Idol.
Calling out the channel, singer Sona Mohapatra, a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement, tweeted on Thursday, “This is the depraved man who rubs himself, threatens, drops his pants, forces someone’s head into his crotch & then repeat replay. This is the man @SonyTV @SonyTVUSA @sonytvuk hires back for the nth time on Indian Idol as judge?”
This is the depraved man who rubs himself, threatens, drops his pants, forces someone’s head into his crotch & then repeat replay. This is the man @SonyTV @SonyTVUSA @sonytvuk hires back for the nth time on Indian Idol as judge? https://t.co/RXCeBKX5St @IndiaMeToo #MeToo— ShutUpSona (@sonamohapatra) September 12, 2019
Sona was one of the women who had accused singer Kailash Kher for sexual harassment. This is not the first time that she has spoken up against Anu Malik being rehired on Indian Idol. Back in July too, Sona tweeted old links which pointed out Anu Malik’s allegedly “predatory behaviour” during Indian Idol shoots, and a news report on singer Shweta Pandit’s allegations of Anu Malik asking her to give him a kiss when she was 15 years old.
Anu Malik, these were the reasons, rhyme you go figure.— ShutUpSona (@sonamohapatra) July 31, 2019
“Anu Malik’s predatory behaviour was commonplace during Indian Idol shoots”https://t.co/Z9NtfPxFNO
“Anu Malik lifted my skirt and dropped his pants, claims survivor” https://t.co/STZb9cYY4M @IndiaMeToo https://t.co/0Qdk9mjQvh
Even before Indian Idol, Anu Malik was back on another show after the #MeToo allegations surfaced last October. Nine months after he was named, and subsequently removed from Indian Idol as a judge, he returned as a guest judge to the small screen for children’s singing reality show Superstar Singer.
Anu Malik had earlier refuted the allegations against him as “baseless and false”.
Among other #MeToo accused who have been signed up for projects are director Subhash Kapoor and lyricist Vairamuthu. Actor Aamir Khan did a U-turn, and decided to work with Subhash Kapoor on the Gulshan Kumar biopic that he had earlier distanced himself from after Subhash was accused by actor Geetika Tyagi of trying to molest her. Vairamuthu has supposedly been signed by Mani Ratnam to work on the songs for Ponniyin Selvan, which will be composed by AR Rahman. However, there is no official confirmation from the director yet.