#MeToo: Anurag Kashyap steps down from Mami Board

Anurag Kashyap

In a surprising development, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on Wednesday stepped down as a board member of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) in the wake of sexual harassment charges involving his former partner Vikas Bahl.

Bahl, the director of Queen, has been accused of sexually harassing a former employee at the Phantom Films.

Phantom Films was established by Kashyap, director Vikramaditya Motwane, producer Madhu Mantena and former head of UTV Spotboy Vikas Bahl, in 2011.

However, in the wake of allegations against Bahl, the company has now been disbanded and the stakeholders have moved on to independent projects.

"In the light of the current events, I have decided to step back from my duties as a board member of MAMI until the shadow of doubt of our alleged complicity in silence and not doing anything about it, is cleared," Kashyap said in a tweet.

MAMI is a prominent body that organises annual film festivals.

Moreover, refuting charges that he was a mute spectator to the reported harassment of women by Bahl, he said that he couldn't explain to people who didn't understand the "due process" and that he was answerable to women who have worked with him.

He said, "On the other hand, I vehemently deny to have stayed silent on the issue & not doing anything about it for years. Can't explain further to people who don't understand due process, legalities. Have been resilient through all accusations, keep flinging them my way... The accused was named and shamed a long time back. For people who don't read the details & only the headlines, I have no response. A lot of women work with me and have been around, I am answerable to them; they stand witness to our actions & our struggle to do the right thing."

Meanwhile, in a legal notice sent to Kashyap and Motwane, Bahl charged that Anurag Kashyap's "sudden moral enlightenment" was a hoax. He demanded that Kashyap and Motwane render an unconditional apology to Bahl for their social media posts.

"It is by design that after having remained silent about the alleged incident and alleged victim for three years, you have now come forward and support the alleged victim. It is imperative to highlight that the alleged victim herself has mentioned that your sudden moral enlightenment is nothing but a hoax and there is a personal agenda behind it," the notice read and sought an "unconditional apology" and to withdraw statements made by Kashyap and Motwane on social media.

Below is the link to Anurag Kashyap's Twitter handle

https://twitter.com/anuragkashyap72

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#MeToo: Anurag Kashyap steps down from Mami Board

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