Ajay Devgn and Alok Nath in De De Pyaar De. (Image courtesy: YouTube)
Actor Ajay Devgn's new film De De Pyaar Dealso features actor Alok Nath, who was named and shamed in India's #MeToo movement last year. Speaking of Alok Nath's casting in the project, actor Ajay Devgn said during the launch of the film's trailer today, "This is not the right place to talk about it. And jinki aap baat kar rahe hai woh film uske pehle complete hui (the film was completed before the allegations surfaced against the concerned person)," reported news agency PTI. Tara writer Vinta Nanda first recounted her harrowing account of rape, in which she implicated Alok Nath, in October 2018. A major chunk of De De Pyaar De completed in the first half of 2018.
Several Twitter users were not convinced with Ajay Devgn's reply and said that the team "could have given him the boot post the allegations."
Shame on @ajaydevgn for defending Alok Nath. They could have given him the boot post the allegations & FIR. I hate when celebs say "this is not the right platform to discuss". Issues such as this deserved to be discussed on every platform. #DeDePyaarDeTrailer @IndiaMeToo
I don't care if Alok Nath was the main character in the movie. Makers should have re-casted. Ajay Devgan has a daughter & wife...working with a rapist.
@IndiaMeToo I'm not gonna watch #DeDePyaarDe until Alok Nath gets kicked from the movie...not even on tv.
If @ajaydevgn is a responsible actor, he should be the one to do it. Sadly this industry does only show off abt respecting women. Fake people !!
When news agency IANS reached out to Alok Nath, he said: "I don't want to talk anything about De De Pyaar De."
Here, it is worth noting that Hollywood director Ridley Scott had set an example by replacing MeToo-accused actor Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in his movie All The Money In The World just weeks before the film's release in 2017. Ridley Scott re-filmed chunks of the movie with Christopher Plummer, who also received an Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category.
Close to home, actor Nana Patekar and director Sajid Khan were shown the door (albeit after a short delay) after #MeToo stories piled up against them. Tanushree Dutta reopened a decade-old controversy by bringing her allegations of sexual harassment against actor Nana Patekar to the forefront while several female artistes and journalists outed Sajid Khan as a sexual predator.
Several Bollywood bigwigs including Aamir Khan have pledged to sever professional ties with those named in #MeToo accounts. Last year, Aamir Khan issued a statement saying his company had a "zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour of any kind."
Meanwhile, De De Pyaar De also stars Tabu, Rakul Preet and Jimmy Sheirgill. It is directed by Akiv Ali and produced by Luv Ranjan. The film is slated to open in cinemas on May 17.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)
Now if this film works and becomes a hit its going to send a very bad message.
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