Last October, Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao issued a joined statement in support of the #MeToo movement. In the statement they said they were backing off a project as one of the people on board had sexual allegations against his name. The project that the actor was talking about was Gulshan Kumar’s biopic, Mogul.
The film’s director, Subhash Kapoor, was accused of molesting a woman.
Now, almost a year later we hear some major news about the much-awaited project. Aamir Khan has decided to reverse his earlier decision to step aside from the Gulshan Kumar biopic.
While talking to a leading daily, Aamir said that he and Kiran have zero tolerance to such issues. He elaborated that hence on hearing about the case, they decided to walk out after discussing it if for over a week.
Talking to a daily on why this change in decision to return to Mogul, Aamir Khan said
“Mr. Kapoor was removed from the film. T-series terminated his contract. Then, we heard that Mr. Kapoor was also dropped from some other projects which were in the development stage, which were in the pipeline. Subsequently, we heard that whatever steps he was taking to put together a film didn’t go through, because nobody wanted to work with him.”
Talking of the effects on Subhash Kapoor’s life, Aamir said,
“That really troubled us because we felt that our action had inadvertently cost a person – who is yet to be tried in a court of law – to lose his livelihood. And for how long? Is it for one year? Or ten years? We don’t know. What if he is innocent. We were very troubled. Laws of natural justice consider a person innocent until he or she is proven guilty. But until such time that the courts reach a conclusion, is it that he or she should not be allowed to work? Is he to just sit at home? Not to earn for himself?”
Talking about why he decided to come on board Mogul again, Aamir Khan said,
“Earlier this year in the month of May, that’s about four months back, I got a letter from IFTDA. IFTDA is the director’s association. I think Mr. Kapoor in his efforts to get work had written to his association, IFTDA. So, they sent me a letter saying that his matter was subjudice, and that I should wait for the courts to decide on his matter. And until such time he should not lose his right to earn a living. In all fairness, he has not been proven guilty. So, please don’t do something which will destroy him. He’s a member of our association. You are a member of our association. And it is very unfortunate that he’s not getting work. What is he going to do?”
He went on to say,
“They appealed to me to reconsider my decision. When I read that letter I felt even more guilty. Perhaps, we are doing the wrong thing.”
Aamir Khan continued,
“And, then we decided to do one more thing to allay our discomfort. We decided to meet a lot of women who had worked with Mr. Kapoor. This was to just get an idea and verify it for ourselves that, are other women also uncomfortable with him? Has any other woman had any experience that was uncomfortable? If so, then that would make us certain that we don’t want to go into it. So we started that exercise. We met or spoke with around 10-12 women who had worked with him. Heads of Department, assistant directors, costume assistants etc.”
The actor who will work in Mogul with the director went on to say,
“What we found is that, without exception, all of them spoke very highly of him. Not only did they not feel any discomfort with him, but rather they went out of their way to praise him. They said that he looked after everyone on his set with great care. Caring, sensitive and supportive were the words used to describe him. Mind you, both Kiran and I are fully aware that these particular women may have had a very good experience working with Mr. Kapoor, but that does not mean that he could not have misbehaved with some other woman. However, I cannot deny that this interaction with women who had worked with him, did give us comfort. And so, taking everything into account, I wrote back to IFTDA saying I have reconsidered my decision, and that I would come back on to the film.”
Aamir Khan will start shooting for Mogul after finishing work on Laal Singh Chaddha.
Initially, Bhushan Kumar, T-Series’ head honcho had approached Akshay Kumar to play the role, but he backed out of the film.