'Indian Idol': Aditya Narayan defends #MeToo named Anu Malik
Anu Malik, who had to step down as Indian Idol judge after he was named in the #MeToo movement by two noted singers, is all set to return in its 11th season. When asked about this development, Aditya Narayan, the host of this season, made a rather surprising comment. "He has always been nice to me. These allegations come from the opposite gender," he said.
"Until proved otherwise, I think you should let the people who are allegedly accused, to continue working. I'm not naming anybody... but ya if someone is guilty then that person should be punished," Aditya, who apparently supports the cause of #MeToo movement, said. The 32-year-old further said that "you can't really hold a gun to their head and expect them to sit at home."
"Anuji has a family. He has two wonderful daughters. I am sure the girls are in that age where they need to be supported. I don't know if it's true or not," Aditya said. Talking about his rapport with Anu, the singer shared that he owes "a lot to him (Anu Malik)," as he sang his first-ever Bollywood song composed by him.
"Anuji is one of the most loved and respected musicians. In fact, I owe a lot to him because I sang my first ever Bollywood song for him for Akele Hum Akele Tum," Aditya said. The Shaapit actor said he has "immense respect for him," but quickly added "but you really don't know anyone completely. You don't know every single aspect of their life."
"You don't know anyone from head to toe even if you've been with them. There's no point for me on commenting on Anuji and his life. As far I know, he's a wonderful human being. These allegations come from the opposite gender," he said. Aditya made these comments after performing at the recently-held charity fundraiser event by People For Animals and Reliance in Delhi.
Earlier when Aditya was asked about the #MeToo movement, he had said, "Women should not be treated the way they have been allegedly treated. Everything has to go through the order of the law and I hope our jury takes the right decision."
Indian Idol Season 11, which is set to start on October 11, will have singer Neha Kakkar and music composer Vishal Dadlani as the other judges, who were there in the previous season too. Anu was replaced by Javed Ali after he was accused of sexual misconduct by singers Shweta Pandit and Sona Mohapatra, both of who spoke at length about his predatory behavior.
In May, when news of Anu being reinstated as Indian Idol judge emerged, Sona vociferously reacted to it. Criticizing the show and Sony, the channel that airs the reality TV program, Mohapatra tweeted: "'Anu Malik unzipped his pants, sexually harassed me: Two more women reveal their @IndiaMeToo stories' This is the pervert @sonymusic & #IndianIdol want back around young girls and boys?"