Ajay Devgn is facing backlash for working with Alok Nath since the trailer release of his forthcoming movie De De Pyaar De. The actor who had the image of 'sanskaari babuji' was accused of rape by Tara writer. Though, the Mumbai sessions court has granted anticipatory bail to Alok Nath saying that he might have been ''falsely accused'', the harbringers of India's #MeToo movement including Tanushree Dutta are in no mood to let him go.
Dutta called Ajay a 'hypocrite' for retaining Alok Nath despite the allegations. "During the #MeToo movement in India, the actor had tweeted and sworn never to work with those accused and now in a surprising and convenient turn of events is working with rape and harassment accused Alok Nath and supporting him to make a comeback to Bollywood," she said in a statement, reported IANS.
As all hell broke loose after the trailer release, Ajay released a statement defending himself. The actor spoke about being 'singled out' and reiterated that he is ''extremely sensitive''.
Read the complete statement below:
''When the entire #MeToo Movement happened, I along with many of my film industry colleagues categorically expressed that I respect every single woman at the work place and I would not stand for any unfairness or atrocity against them. Nothing about my stand has changed. Coming to the question of having worked with Mr Alok Nath in my upcoming film De De Pyar De, here I must put certain things in perspective. This film was supposed to be an October 2018 release. The shoot of the film got over by last September. The portions with Mr. Alok Nath were canned by August in Manali. The said portions were shot over 40 days across various sets and an outdoor location with a combination of over 10 actors. By the time the allegations came out (in October 2018) the actors in the film including me had already started work on other films. It would be near impossible to get all the dates and combinations of the several actors in the film and attempt a re-shoot with some other actor replacing Mr Nath. It would also have been a huge monetary loss for the producers. Everyone is aware that film-making is a collaborative process. The decision to replace Mr Alok Nath could never have been mine alone. In this case, I would have to go with the joint-decision of the entire unit. Not to forget, I could not have brought the entire combination of actors back or put up sets again for a 40-day re-shoot because this would mean doubling the budget, which again wasn't my call to make. It would have to be the call of the makers. Had circumstances played out even slightly differently, I would have pushed for a different combination of actors. Unfortunately, this was not to be. I reiterate I am extremely sensitive to the #MeToo movement. But when circumstances are beyond me, I don't see why an attempt is being made to `single' me out as being insensitive. This is untrue.''
On a related note, actor Nana Patekar and director Sajid Khan were ousted from Housefull 4 (albeit after a short delay) after #MeToo allegations started piling up against them.
Meanwhile, De De Pyaar De, directed by Akiv Ali also features Rakul Preet Singh and Tabu in pivotal roles. The film shows Ajay Devgn's character trapped between his 25 years younger girlfriend played by Rakul and his gorgeous ex-wife played by Tabu. De De Pyaar De is written by Sonu Ke Titu Ke Sweety Luv Ranjan.
WATCH DE DE PYAAR DE TRAILER