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Sunday, December 10, 2023

#MeToo: Ajay Devgn Responds to Criticism of Working with Alok Nath in De De Pyaar De

Ajay Devgn has responded to Kangana Ranaut’s sister Rangoli Chandel, Tanushree Dutta and Vinta Nanda’s disappointment of him working with Alok Nath in De De Pyaar De.

The official statement of Ajay Devgn reads:

“When the entire #MeToo Movement happened, I along with many of my film industry colleagues categorically expressed that I respect every single woman at the workplace and I would not stand for any unfairness or atrocity against them.

Nothing about my stand has changed.

Coming to the question of having worked with Mr Alok Nath in my upcoming film De De Pyaar De, here I must put certain things in perspective.

“This film was supposed to be an October 2018 release. The shoot of the film got over by last September. The portions with Mr Alok Nath were canned by August in Manali.

The said portions were shot over 40 days across various sets and an outdoor location with a combination of over 10 actors.

By the time the allegations came out (in October 2018) the actors in the film including me had already started work on other films.

It would be near impossible to get all the dates and combinations of the several actors in the film and attempt a re-shoot with some other actor replacing Mr Nath.

It would also have been a huge monetary loss for the producers. Everyone is aware that film-making is a collaborative process.

The decision to replace Mr Alok Nath could never have been mine alone. In this case, I would have to go with the joint-decision of the entire unit.

Not to forget, I could not have brought the entire combination of actors back or put up sets again for a 40-day re-shoot because this would mean doubling the budget, which again wasn’t my call to make.

It would have to be the call of the makers.

Had circumstances played out even slightly differently, I would have pushed for a different combination of actors. Unfortunately, this was not to be.”

I reiterate I am extremely sensitive to the #MeToo movement.

But when circumstances are beyond me, I don’t see why an attempt is being made to `single’ me out as being insensitive. This is untrue.”

Tanushree Dutta Speaks Against Ajay Devgn Working with Alok Nath in De De Pyaar De

Actress Tanushree Dutta, who has been at the forefront of the #MeToo movement in India, has called out actor Ajay Devgn for choosing to work with Alok Nath, who has been accused of rape and harassment by multiple women. 

In an open letter, Dutta writes:

“Tinsel town is full of liars, show-offs and spineless hypocrites. And it seems by a large public consensus that the signpost is pointing currently at Ajay Devgn.

During the #MeToo movement in India the actor had tweeted and sworn never to work with those accused and now in a surprising and convenient turn of events is working with rape and harassment accused Alok Nath and supporting him make a comeback to Bollywood.

Doesn’t this prove yet again that your big Bollywood heroes are truly zeroes!”

 With regards to Devgn’s decision to work with Nath in the Luv Ranjan production, she said:

“Would it be so difficult to just edit out Alok Nath’s portions in the film and hire someone else and reshoot those bits even before the film promotions started??

Nobody even knew before the posters and trailers that Alok Nath is in the film so if Ajay Devgan and the makers wanted they could have just quietly replaced him and re-shot his portions (which is barely 10-15 days for character actors in Bollywood) and given Vinta Nanda the respect she deserves as well as several other women who were troubled by this guy but No!

They had to keep the alleged rapist in their film and rub it on not only Vinta’s but on all our faces as a show of solidarity with all rapists, molesters and harassers of Bollywood and an even greater show of arrogance and defiance against all things morally and conscientiously right.”

De De Pyaar De also stars Tabu and Rakul Preet. It is scheduled to release on 17th May.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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