The ongoing #MeToo movement has taken Bollywood by storm. The latest name adding to the list of the accusers is that of Sham Kaushal, national award-winning stunt director, and father of actor Vicky Kaushal. A woman in her post on social media has alleged that Kaushal sexually harassed her back in 2006 when she had worked with him as an assistant on one of the film’s sets. Her post mentioned that the team of the film was on an outdoor shoot when Kaushal asked her to join for drinks one night after the pack-up. When she refused, he told her that she should give it a second thought otherwise she would miss out on some good time. And just when she was leaving, she saw that Kausal took out the phone and started showing her a porn video telling her that he bought it from Bangkok.
She wrote, “Bollywood has no guidelines on sexual harassment cases, it has no HR to complain to but what it has is creepy men who are repeat offenders. Some of these creepy men are senior technicians who try their luck, especially on out door shoots with any girl assistant of either the art, costume or the direction department. These technicians are actually the usual suspects. Most people in the industry know them, most of the producers and directors who have the power to stop them or not give them work are their friends and a lot of times, are usual suspects themselves. Any kind of sexual misconduct towards a crewmember always ends up being like laughing matter or gossip for other senior crewmembers. Very few people in the industry ever call it or have ever worked to create a safe environment inspite of always knowing the usual suspects”
She added, “Back in 2006 on an outdoor shoot, Shyam Kaushal, the famous and award-winning Bollywood stunt director decided that I should be going to his room after wrap to drink vodka, the sound of that was just so wrong that I lief to him and told him I don’t drink at all. He tried to insist, by saying I didn’t know what I am missing out on and when I stuck my ground he picked up his phone and suddenly plugged it in-front of me with a porn MMS video clip on it. He said he bought this from the streets of Bangkok for 10 bath. All I did was pretend that someone paged me on the walkie and walked away. I told my line producer about it within half an hour of it happening and she was appalled but didn’t know what she could do at that point but she did make sure I was never alone with the stunt team on any of the stunt days on the rest of the schedule. When this incident happened I was alone with Shyam Kaushal, we were on a forward set up and once we were ready and waiting for the main crew to arrive his boys had disappeared around the bend because they couldn’t smoke in front of their beloved masterji”.
By Nameeta Parekh. About Shyam Kaushal, Bollywood stunt director. pic.twitter.com/b5bLeALFMF
— Mahima Kukreja 🌱🌈✊🏽 (@AGirlOfHerWords) October 14, 2018
While Sham Kaushal’s reaction on the allegation is awaited, it is shocking to see how names like Sajid Khan, Alok Nath, Subhash Ghai and others have surfaced for allegedly sexually harassing women. Interestingly, most men have denied the allegations and maintained that they will prove their innocence.
The baton of bringing #MeToo to India was carried by actress Tanushree Dutta, who alleged that actor Nana Patekar harassed her sexually 10 years back on the sets of Horn OK Pleasss.