#MeToo in India: Production house denies receiving sexual harassment plaint against Cheat India director Soumik Sen

FP Staff

October 21, 2018 12:06:52 IST

Editor's note: Following Rituparna Chatterjee's report — Is India’s #MeToo moment here? Women are angry and they are naming and shaming their abusers — Firstpost will publish a series of articles collating personal accounts of those who have made allegations of harassment, along with responses from those who have been accused of such behaviour. This is an ongoing exercise and will be updated to reflect new developments. If you wish to draw our attention to instances of harassment you may have experienced or witnessed, tweet to us @firstpost with the hashtag #MeToo.

In the past couple of weeks, some of Bollywood's prominent personalities such as Subhash Ghai, Nana Patekar, Sajid Khan and Vikal Bahl, were accused of harassing women, some of whom shared the allegations anonymously on social media.

Film producer and fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar was also accused of sexual harassment and being a spectator while director Soumik Sen allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with an actress who anonymously tweeted her account on 18 October. The alleged incident took place on the sets of the Emraan Hashmi-starrer, Cheat India.

Soumik Sen. Image via Twitter

Soumik Sen. Image via Twitter

The accuser claimed that Sen would tell her and one of her co-actors (on the sets and in the vanity van during the shoot of Cheat India) that he wanted to watch them enact scenes from one of Netflix's upcoming web-series based on a lesbian relationship. "He would often narrate unnatural sex scenes and how we would be apt to play the part, all in the presence of Atul Kasbekar who would be flaunting a huge grin on his face," she alleged.

She mentioned how on one instance she lost her cool and confronted Sen for his inappropriate behaviour after which she was allegedly warned that if she fussed over such things, she would be "thrown away" from the film. She also added that Kasbekar chose to remain silent during her confrontation with Sen.

The accuser now maintains that she will never work with either Kasbekar or Sen in the future. She also claims that she has got in touch with other women who have allegedly been harassed by Kasbekar at some point.

Kasbekar, using the Twitter handle of his production company Ellipsis Entertainment, issued a statement, saying that the company hasn't received a complaint against Sen's alleged misconduct. The company representatives also urged people to "be wary of unsubstantiated allegations".

Firstpost reached out to Sen for a comment. The report will be updated once he responds.

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Network 18, of which Firstpost is a part, has received complaints of sexual harassment as well. The complaints which are within the purview of the workplace have been forwarded to our PoSH committee for appropriate action.

Updated Date: Oct 21, 2018 12:06 PM