All women need to be heard and not judged: Riteish Deshmukh on 'Me Too' movement

Actor Riteish Deshmukh has come out in support of women who have been sharing their experiences of sexual harassment as part of India’s #MeToo movement.

Riteish’s statement comes after his Housefull 4 director Sajid Khan was accused of sexual harassment by three female actors and a journalist.

Sajid has since stepped down as the director of Housefull 4, which also stars Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol.

“Deeply disturbing to hear and read the news of so many women who had to go through these incidents of harassment in various fields. I think it’s extremely brave of every woman to have shared their stories… All need to be heard and not judged. I stand with them today. #MeToo,” Riteish tweeted.

The film’s lead star Akshay announced Friday that the shooting has been put on hold for now.

“I’ve just landed back in the country last night and reading all the news has been very disturbing. I’ve requested the producers of Housefull 4 to cancel the shoot until further investigation,” he wrote on Twitter.

“This is something that requires stringent action. I will not work with any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve,” the 51-year-old actor added.

Riteish said he “second Akshay’s stand on Housefull 4“.

The film also featured Nana Patekar, who was the first celebrity to be accused of harassment by actor Tanushree Dutta a fortnight ago. He has denied the allegation and the matter is sub judice.

The makers of Housefull 4 have decided to drop him as well.

“Nana Patekar is dropped from the film due to allegations of sexual harassment against him. The decision was taken today,” source close to the production house, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, told PTI.

Dutta’s revelations have sparked what media is terming as India’s #MeToo movement, where journalists, actors and professionals have taken to social media to talk about workplace harassment.