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Poonam Pandey's publicist misuses #MeToo movement to promote upcoming film

A press release has been issued to the media that begins with the headline — 'Poonam Pandey's #MeToo Moment - is it Shakti Kapoor?'

Keyur Seta

The #MeToo movement in India is gaining momentum with new accusations of sexual harassment, or worse, emerging everyday. From the Hindi film fraternity, actors Nana Patekar, Rajat Kapoor and Alok Nath, directors Vikas Bahl and Subhash Kapoor, screenwriter Varun Grover and producer Gaurang Doshi have been accused so far.

While Rajat has apologised for "causing hurt to another human being", many have dismissed the accusations as false.

Amidst this, actress Poonam Pandey's team has decided to cash in on the movement to promote her upcoming film The Journey Of Karma. Pandey's publicist has sent a press release to the media that begins with the headline — Poonam Pandey's #MeToo Moment - is it Shakti Kapoor?

Pandey, a former Bigg Boss contestant, is known for her ‘bold’ antics online.

While the headline is enough to indicate that this is nothing but a publicity gimmick, the statement narrates how Pandey was made to feel uncomfortable on the film's sets by a 'senior actor, known for his villanous and comic roles'. 

“The actress had a similar experience with a senior actor, known for his villainous and comic roles, while shooting for The Journey Of Karma. It was a love making scene involving Poonam and the veteran actor. Before the scene was canned, Poonam made it a point to draw the line, giving the actor an intimidating look,” the statement read.

The actress’ publicist has also accused Kapoor of making inappropriate advances towards Pandey. “Also while the scene was being shot in bed, Poonam saw to it that the actor does not take any liberties with her. Yet he did not miss the opportunity and made reel feel like real. Poonam, however, has not forgotten the incident. And not wanting to come face to face with the character actor, has chosen to avoid attending the trailer launch of the film just a week back. Earlier she had skipped the poster launch of the film too.”

The press release further says that Pandey did not attend the trailer and poster launch of the movie as she didn’t want to share a stage with Kapoor. However, she categorically refused to name him. “I would not like to name him. He has a daughter of my age,” Pandey was quoted.  

This statement can only be read as a cheap stint for cashing in on something as serious as the #MeToo campaign. The last thing the film industry now needs is someone taking the movement lightly and using it to promote their film.