#MeToo: Anu Malik steps down as 'Indian Idol 11' judge
Following severe backlash over allegations of sexual misconduct, music composer Anu Malik has now stepped down as the judge from the ongoing 11th season of singing reality show Indian Idol. The development comes after singer-composer Sona Mohapatra, among others, called out Sony TV for rehiring Malik, despite the accusations that surfaced last year, in wake of the #MeToo wave. Here are more details.
It all started in October 2018, when Malik was accused of sexual harassment by Mohapatra and several other women, including singers Shweta Pandit and Neha Bhasin. Subsequently, he had to step down as the judge on Season 10 of the said show. However, controversy erupted after Malik was reinstated as judge by Sony this year, following which Mohapatra recharged her campaign against him.
Over the past few days, Mohapatra, along with many in the industry and social media, have been demanding Malik's removal from the TV show. The matter escalated after Mohapatra, in an open letter to Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, demanded action against him. This prompted the National Commission of Women (NCW) to send a legal notice to Sony TV.
However, a few days back, Malik took to Twitter to plead innocence. In an open letter, he wrote, "It's disgraceful that at this age, I have to watch the most slanderous words and horrifying incidents being associated with my name." "I'm in pain. I'm in a dark space. And justice is all I want," he added. Notably, his replacement hasn't been announced yet.