Mumbai, July 28 (IANS) With a producer making a hue and cry over Anupam Kher's refusal to return the signing amount of 'Gandhi To Hitler', the actor has now approached the CINTAA for a resolution.
While Nalin Singh, the co-producer and actor from 'Gandhi To Hitler' feels Anupam has been unfair to the project by opting out and refusing to return the signing amount, Anupam feels the timing of Nalin's allegations smacks of a publicity gimmick.
Raza Murad, the chairperson of the joint dispute settlement committee of the CINTAA (Cinema & Television Artistes' Assoction), supports Anupam.
'In my 25 years of association with CINTAA, we've never received any complaint against Mr Anupam Kher. Producers choose to work with him repeatedly. He is one of our most professional actors,' said Raza Murad.
'Why didn't the makers of this film ('Gandhi To Hitler') approach us earlier? Sometimes an actor is unable to do a film even after taking the signing amount. There's nothing alarming about this. Why didn't they complain when Anupam backed out. Why now?'
About returning signing amounts Raza Murad said: 'There's a mutual understanding between the actor and producer about this matter. But in this case the producers did not ask Anupam back for the money at the time he opted out. Maybe there was an understanding that the signing amount would be adjusted for whatever preparation Anupam had undertaken.
'If this was not the case why didn't the producers ask back for their signing amount earlier? The producer Anil Kumar Sharma seems to be a thorough gentleman. Then why was Anupam's picture torn up at a press conference for 'Gandhi To Hitler' in Chandigarh. This was a gesture in very bad taste. Anupam is not an anti-national element nor is he a politician. We don't indulge in such gestures against our artistes.'
Raza Murad cites the example of Mallika Sherawat in a similar case. 'After taking the the signing amount for a film where she was supposed to play a prostitute Mallika visited red-light areas with the director for 10 days to prepare for the role. Her stand was, 'Yes I had taken money but I've also invested my time in preparation'.'
Murad makes it vocally clear that using artistes' names negatively to promote a film won't be tolerated.
'It's a small industry. There are no permanent enemies and friends here. We don't approve of this kind of publicity where you indulge an artiste's character assassination. We're here to protect our artistes. But if an artiste is in the wrong we won't hesitate in pulling him or her up,' he said.