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In the wake of the #MeToo movement in India, Aamir Khan, who was all set to bankroll the Gulshan Kumar biopic Mogul, opted out the project owing to an earlier sexual misconduct allegation against the film's director Subhash Kapoor.
The superstar and his wife Kiran Rao issued a statement which read, As creative people we have been committed to foregrounding and finding solutions to social issues, and at Aamir Khan Productions we have always had a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour of any kind. We strongly condemn any act of sexual harassment, and equally we condemn any and all false accusations in such cases.
Two weeks ago, when traumatic #MeToo stories began emerging, it was brought to our attention that someone we were about to begin work with has been accused of sexual misconduct. Upon enquiry we found that this particular case is subjudice, and that the legal process is in motion.
We are not an investigative agency, nor are we in any position to pass judgement on anyone - that is for the police and judiciary to do. So, without casting any aspersions on anyone involved in this case, and without coming to any conclusions about these specific allegations, we have decided to step away from this film.
We do not want our action to reflect in any manner on the people involved in this case. We believe that this is an opportunity for the film industry to introspect and take concrete steps towards change. For far too long women have faced the brunt of sexual exploitation. It has to stop. In this regard we are committed to doing any and everything to make our film industry a safe and happy one to work in."
Reacting to Aamir Khan's statement, Subhash Kapoor tweeted, "I understand and respect Aamir Khan's and Kiran Rao's decision. Since matter is subjudice, I intend to prove my innocence in the court of law. But I do want to raise a question - is secretly filming a crying woman without her consent and knowledge and uploading it on social media not harassment or abuse? Or is it fine if she is related to someone who is "accused" of a misconduct. If your answer is latter then for me it's nothing less than a khaap panchayat mentality."
Meanwhile, producer Bhushan Kumar told Indian Express, "It is our foremost duty to make our industry safe for everyone, make an industry that creates environment of equality and a better place to work. With the on-going proceedings against the director that have been brought to our notice, everyone at T-Series has decided to not work with the director.'
When quizzed if T-series will be able to get Aamir Khan on board now that Subhash Kapoor has been dropped from the film, Kumar told the daily, "That I can't comment now as u can understand from his tweet he has nothing against us but director."
For those who ain't aware, Subhash Kapoor was accused of molestation by actor Geetika Tyagi in 2014. She had filed a complaint against him, saying that he tried to rape her in 2012.
More recently, she had tweeted to Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, which has Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao as one of its founders, asking if she "remembers that her husband himself was working with #subhashkapoor who is being prosecuted for sexual assault and molestation."
After Aamir's latest move, Geetika took to her Twitter handle and wrote, "This is commendable and this is the kind of support we want so that more and more women can come out. Thank you @aamir_khan thank you #Kiran Rao #TimesUp #MeTooMovement."