eToo: Actor, Producer, Activist Kalki Koechlin Calls The Movement a ‘Collateral Damage’ But Says ‘The Result is Only Going to be a Cleaner, Safer Environment at Work’ – Kalki Koechlin on #MeToo: The Result is Only Going to be a Cleaner, Safer Environment at Work
The #MeToo movement came like a storm in Bollywood after Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexual misconduct. After Tanushree, many other big names from several different industries have been named and shamed. This movement has rocked the film industry with names such as Nana Patekar, Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Vikas Bahl and Mukesh Chabbra, among others being called out for their behaviour and alleged sexual harassment of their female colleagues. Several actors came out in support of all the victims who were courageous enough to narrate their nerve-wracking story. Now actor Kalki Koechlin who is also a writer, producer and an activist and raises awareness on women’s empowerment and gender equality has now opened up on the #MeToo movement and said that it could lead to “collateral damage” but it is an absolute necessity to sanitise working spaces.
“A lot of people are collateral damage. One of my films is not in MAMI while another project is on hold. These are the things we have to accept… But it’s a necessary thing right now. Things need to be fine tuned and changed and if it makes us more sensitive then it’s good,” Kalki told news agency PTI.
The actor’s close friends and associate Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap have been accused of inaction; an allegation which they strictly deny, when an employee of their now dissolved production house Phantom Films spoke about sexual harassment by Bahl.
Kalki, however, refrained from commenting on specific cases. She said, “I don’t think I can comment on other people. I don’t know the details of the cases, so it’s not my place to make a comment.” When asked if dissociating from people who have been called out for their behaviour is the way forward, Kalki said it is a “tricky question.” “Each case and each crime is different. Someone who has raped and molested will have a much more severe punishment but someone who has sent texts and harassed someone sexually through text messages… Each crime has a different punishment,” said the Dev D actor.
“It’s very important that the due process, the investigation is allowed to happen by agencies. They need to be allowed to do their jobs and find out what is the deserving punishment for each case.” Kalki said the current mood of the film industry is of introspection with the aim to create a safer place for women to work.
“All of us are introspecting. The result is only going to be a cleaner, safer environment at work. It’s a time to introspect and think how can we implement those things. I’m doing a play and my director sent me a contract on sexual harassment.
“So developments like these are good. It means we will be sensitised, how to behave, if we are feeling uncomfortable, we would know who to complain to, what to do and all of that. It’s a productive time in terms of the change,” she added.
On the professional front, Kalki will next be seen on Eros Now’s web series Smoke. The crime-thriller premiered at MIPCOM, Cannes under the ‘Made in India’ category. The 11-episode series will stream from October 26.