In a shocking and never-heard-before move, one of Bollywood's leading production houses publicly sacked its vice president. Yashraj Films put out a tweet publicly sacking its vice president, sending shockwaves in the industry. This is what they tweeted out.
Apart from the fact that Ashish Patil was regarded was one of the most influential senior management members at Yashraj, his public sacking with a statement has drawn some criticism because many users feel that he will be unemployable after such a public sacking by the production house. The reason for the sacking? An anonymous complaint of sexual harassment by a woman who alleged that he demanded favours in exchange for work. She texted her #MeToo story to an activist who tweeted screenshots with the woman's permission.
As soon as her ordeal was shared on social media, Yashraj issued a strong statement announcing that they would launch an investigation.
The outcome of the investigation must have gone against Ashish Patil. However, without waiting for Patil to submit his resignation, Yahsraj took the step to sack him from his official duties. This move has divided social media. While on one hand, it showed the seriousness with which the production house takes sexual harassment allegations, others pointed out that this move would render the executive with no option but to publicly accept his termination and a court of law would be his only redemption if he chooses to take that route. The verdict is still out on whether Patil should have been given the opportunity to resign or whether a public announcement was justified, given the nature of the incident.
This move by Yashraj, is in line with the announcement by several prominent filmmakers and production houses regarding sexual harassment at the workplace. Aamir Khan recently announced that he won’t work with proven offenders and walked out of Mogul, a biopic on Gulshan Kumar that was to be directed by Subhash Kapoor who is fighting a case of harassment. Similarly, several other personalities like Farhan Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Meghna Gulzar, Gauri Shinde etc among others too pledged not to work with offenders.