Journalist corroborates Tanushree's account of sexual-harassment in Twitter thread
In 2008, journalist Janice Sequeira, who worked for AajTak and Headlines Today earlier, was sent to cover behind-the-scenes of the song being shot for 'Horn OK Pleassss'. And now, after Tanushree Dutta has spoken about the sexual harassment she faced on the sets by Nana Patekar, Janice has provided an eye-witness account. She agrees with Tanushree. Here's what she had to say.
When Janice arrived on set, she found out that the shooting had stopped and it was told that Tanushree was 'being difficult'. She saw Ganesh Acharya, the dance choreographer, Nana and the producer having a conversation as supporting dancers stood there waiting. Their corroborating narrative was that the actress 'was not cooperating'. However, a while later Tanushree reprised her role and the shooting resumed.
No sooner had shooting resumed that Nana joined Tanushree. A little later, the actress walked off, looking upset and locked herself in the vanity van, refusing to open the door. Soon, goons arrived, reportedly called by the producers. They trashed her van and broke her car's windshield when her parents came to pick her up. Cops arrived on set, which had devolved into chaos.
Janice barely managed to get a statement out of Nana who said that Tanushree was like a daughter to him. However, the actress said that their dance steps had been changed and a lewd step was introduced at Nana's behest. She was shaken by the producers' aggression when she refused to comply. Notably, Nana refuted her account at a press conference, calling her 'unprofessional'.
Janice raised some pertinent points regarding the veracity of Tanushree's narrative. She said if her account had not changed over a decade then we must give her the benefit of the doubt. Despite her bringing Nana's disturbing behavior to light, her voice was silenced by the power structures in the Bollywood industry, and Nana and the others involved continued their flourishing careers.
Janice believes that though Tanushree's voice was silenced in 2008, in a post #MeToo society, her voice might be heard. After the Hollywood fiasco involving giants like Harvey Weinstein, numerous women have spoken about their personal experiences about sexual harassment at the hands of the privileged. If women in India are to speak out fearlessly, we must start by appreciating and lauding Tanushree's courage.
#MeToo started not as an alternate justice system but as a warning to others in the industry against known but protected perpetrators. If Bollywood is to expose its perpetrators, this is the time for action. Survivors with collaborative narratives should share experiences. Privileged stars should support Tanushree's cause and address the exploitative patriarchal power structure. Only then can we have our own #MeToo revolution.
A while later, shooting resumed. Tanushree resumed work, and a couple shots later, #NanaPatekar joined her. Not long after that, Tanushree walked off set. Shooting halted again. She locked herself in her vanity van, refusing to come out.— Janice Sequeira (@janiceseq85) September 26, 2018