Preity Zinta clarifies her MeToo comments: I hope there's more trust in future, specially from women
Preity Zinta says she did not want the movement to be diluted with false accusations as her brother (a cousin) went through it and eventually shot himself.
Actor Preity Zinta on Tuesday said she is a "huge supporter" of India's #MeToo movement and would slap any person who tried to harass her, apologising for her remarks on the campaign that has led to the downfall of many in the Indian film industry and outside.
Zinta, who has been slammed on social media, said her recent comment to an entertainment website was taken out of context. "I wish I had (faced sexual harassment) I would have an answer to tell you," she said controversially in the video interview.
Clarifying her remarks, which led to a backlash from people from all walks in life, Zinta said in a media statement that she did not want the movement to be diluted with false accusations as her brother (a cousin) went through it and eventually shot himself.
"My reason for saying 'I wish something like this would have happened to me' in the film industry with a smile was because I would have reacted and slapped the person. So it never happened and much later, when it happened, I did react and the whole world saw it," she explained.
Zinta said she was a "huge supporter of the movement" and it was unfortunate that some of her comments were taken out of context.
The actor, who is currently promoting her film Bhaiaji Superhit, also put her comment, "Aaj ki Sweetu, kal ki MeToo ho sakti hai," in context. "The Sweetu and MeToo comment was not mine but I was quoting a man, which implied that men are now cautious in their approach to women at work. The reason I was smiling in the interview was because it's an interview and I was doing movie promotions," she added.
The actor said she recognises not everyone is in a position to fight back and she does not want to "marginalise" women who have been abused.
While women should not be victim shamed and be encouraged to come forward, men cannot be automatically vilified either, she said. "If the #Metoo movement has to really be the change then then men have to support it too. I have seen both sides of the coin, and I'm very hurt and sad I have to write such a long clarification specially after advocating and fighting for women's rights all my life. I hope in the future there is more trust, specially from women because if we don't stand together, there really is no movement," she said.
The #MeToo movement, which began in Hollywood a year ago, has seen thousands sharing their stories of sexual harassment. In recent months, #MeToo has been gaining momentum in India, with women calling out comedians, journalists, authors, actors and filmmakers. The movement has resulted in the fall of stalwarts such as Nana Patekar, Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Subhash Kapoor, Vikas Bahl, Subhash Ghai, Anu Malik and Rajat Kapoor.
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