A Change.org petition seeking the eviction of controversial filmmaker Sajid Khan from the popular reality show Bigg Boss Season 16 has garnered over 7,100 signatures so far. The petition said the filmmaker’s appearance on the latest season of Bigg Boss implies that he is “being allowed to redeem and whitewash his image by participating on Bigg Boss, a reality show watched by millions” in the country.
The petition also stated that this is more than a mere social media campaign and is a fight for all those women who have faced abuse. It furthermore read, “The least we can do is not make a mockery out of their suffering by promoting him on a platform like Bigg Boss. Bigg Boss using the pain, trauma and anger of Indians to generate publicity is deeply hurtful. We cannot and will not stand by as this happens.”
The petition comes after Twitter users condemned Bigg Boss makers for selecting Khan as one of the contestants on the show. Ambarsariya singer Sona Mohapatra tweeted, “This is Sajid Khan, now on a reality TV show. Then there is Anu Malik judging a music reality show on TV, for children no less. Kailash Kher? Celebrity judge on TV. ALL called out by so many many women in #MeToo. Indian TV channels, executives are indeed depraved and sad lot.”
A user wrote, “By allowing Sajid Khan to participate in a reality show, the industry has shown it hates women more than it loves predators.”
Sajid Khan was accused of sexual misconduct by almost seven women during the #MeToo movement in 2018. According to the Change.org petition, Khan was accused of flashing his private parts in front of women at parties, asking female actors to send nude photographs, watching porn in front of female staff and talking in a sexually degrading manner to women.
Late Jiah Khan’s sister Karishma also accused the Housefull director of sexually harassing the actress. Karishma said in a documentary titled Death in Bollywood, “When she (Jiah) was asked by Sajid Khan to take her top off, she came home and cried. She said, ‘I have a contract, so if I leave, they can sue me and slander my name. If I stay, then I am sexually harassed.’ It is a lose-lose sitation.’ ” She added Sajid also made advances of sexual nature towards her but Jiah saved her in the nick of time.
The Humshakals director has however denied these allegations and tweeted, “In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer [and] the stars of my film Housefull 4, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth… I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgement till the truth is out.”
Also read: ‘Indian TV channels are depraved and sad’: Sajid Khan’s entry to Bigg Boss house leaves many angry