Celebrity photographer-turned-film producer Atul Kasbekar came under scanner when an anonymous user accused him of sexual harassment. Both Kasbekar and Cheat India director Soumik Sen were called ‘sleazebags’ who harass women with their powerplay. In the wake of these allegations, Ellipsis Entertainment, which is co-owned by Atul Kasbekar, issued a statement.
The statement, signed by Kasbekar, Tanuj Garg, Shanti Sivaram, Swati Iyer and Piya Sawhney, reads: "We have no received any complaint of inappropriate behaviour by director Soumik Sen from any female member in our unit of 'Cheat India' during the shooting."
Statement pic.twitter.com/3srrTJT7qL— ELLIPSIS ENT (@EllipsisEntt) October 19, 2018
They pointed out that the banner has produced films like Neerja and Tumhari Sulu, renowned for their female protagonists which have been beacons for women empowerment.
"While we support the #MeToo movement in India, we urge for people to be wary of unsubstantiated allegations, particularly anonymous ones, which could be mischievously made with ulterior motives. We also hope that these do not dilute the credibility of the ongoing movement
The anonymous post said her most recent experience of working with Kasbekar and Sen on Cheat India was "rather disturbing". She says Sen used to talk about wanting to see her and her female colleagues enact scenes for a lesbian web series.
"He (Sen) would narrate unnatural sex scenes and would suggest how we would be apt to play part, all in the presence of Atul Kasbekar who would be flaunting a huge grin on his face. He would also read out erotic poems between scenes. One such encounter had me losing (sic) my cool and asking Soumik to back off, I was sternly warned that if I fuss about such things I would be thrown out of Cheat India.
"The producer Atul who was also a part of the discussion chose to keep silent and took no action even when I displayed my discomfort. The film has wrapped and I have sworn to never work with Soumik or Atul ever again. They are sleazebags who harass women with their powerplay," the account further read.
(With IANS Inputs)