Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 16 (ANI): Director Abhinav Singh Kashyap appealed to the government to launch a detailed investigation into the demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and shared a hard hitting Facebook post about his own experience of bullying in the Bollywood industry.
The 'Dabangg' director wrote, "My experience is no different. I have experienced exploitation and bullying first hand."
He further said, "Arbaaz Khan on Dabangg and ever since. So here is my story 10 years after Dabangg. The reason I moved out of making Dabangg 2 ten years ago is that Arbaaz Khan in collusion with Sohail Khan and family was trying to take control of my career by bullying me. because Arbaaz Khan sabotaged my second project with Shree Ashtavinayak Films that I was signed up with by personally calling their head Mr. Raj Mehta and threatening him with dire consequences if they made a film with me. I had to return the signing money to Shree Ashtavinayak films and moved to Viacom Pictures. They did the same thing. Only this time the sabotager was Sohail Khan and he intimidated the then Viacom CEO Vikram Malhotra. My project was sabotaged and I was made to return my signing fee of Rupees 7 Crores plus interest of Ninety odd lacs. Its only then that Reliance Entertainment came to my rescue and we forged an enduring partnership for my film Besharam."
The 'Yuva' director added, "But to behold... Mr Salman Khan and family sabotaged the release of the film and got their PROs to run a sustained negative smear campaign against me and my film Besharam before release. This scared the distributors from buying my film. Reliance Entertainment and I were capable and courageous enough to release the film ourselves but the battle had just begun. My enemies, which there were many ran a sustained negative Trolling and badmouthing campaign against the film till the Box Office of my film collapsed. But to their horror, Besharam had still netted 58 crores before it went out of theatres."
"So they fought on... They sabotaged the Satellite release of the film that was pre-sold to Mr Jayanti Lal Gada who was the main agregator for Zee Telefilms those days. With Reliance's goodwill, they were able to re-negotiate the satellite rights sale with Gada for a much lesser price," he further said.
Talking about his projects and how they were affected, Kashyap added, "Over the next few years, all my projects and creative endeavours have been sabotaged and I have been repeatedly threatened with life and rape threats given to/for the female members of my family. The sustained gaslighting and bullying destroyed my mental health and that of my family and led to my divorce and breaking up of my family in 2017. They erred and sent some of these threats as texts, sent to me as sms from several numbers. Armed with evidence, I went to the police in 2017 to file an FIR which they refused to register but registered a non-cognizable complaint. When the threats continued, I forced the police to trace the numbers but they couldn't be traced back to Sohail Khan (the suspected sender). My complaint remains open to date and I still have all the evidence."
The director further wrote, "My enemies are sharp, cunning and always attack me from the back and stay Hidden. But the best part is after 10 Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan years, I know who my enemies are. Let it be known that they are Salim Khan, Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan for. There are many other small fry's but Salman Khan family is the head of this venomous serpent. They use a clever mix of their ill-gotten money, political clout and connections with the underworld to intimidate anyone and everyone. Unfortunately truth is on my side and I am not going to give up like Sushant Singh Rajput. I refuse to cow down and will fight on till I see the end of either them or me. Enough tolerance. It's time to fight back."
The 'Dabangg' director wrote, "The suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput brings to the forefront a much bigger problem of what many of us have been dealing with. Exactly what might compel a person to commit suicide?? I fear his death is just the tip of the iceberg just like the #metoo movement was for a much bigger malaise in Bollywood."
Kashyap also made allegations that talent management agencies ruin the career and life of an actor, "The death of Sushant Singh Rajput brings under scanner the role YRF talent Management Agency might have played in pushing him towards his suicide but that is for the authorities to investigate. These people don't make careers. They ruin your career and life. Having suffered personally for a decade, I can confidently say every Talent Manager and all Talent Management Agencies of Bollywood are a potential death Trap for Artists. They are all basically white collared Dalaals and everyone is involved. They all have an unspoken code of conduct they adhere to. Their one simple mantra is, 'Hamaam me sab nange aur jo nange nahin hain, unko nanga karo kyonki agar ek bhi pakda gaya to sab pakde jayenge'. Following is mostly their modus Operandi'."
The director shared how the agencies find talented people and get them to sign a contract, "First the talent scout (Casting Directors, etc.) working on a cut/commission spots a needy wild talent from out of Mumbai with little connections or property. The talent is then lured with free invites to Bollywood parties and random Restaurant launches on the pretext of introducing them to celebrities. The Blinding glamour of celebs and lure of easy money is unleashed on the unsuspecting. Mind you they are all ignored and treated very badly at these parties so they feel demoralized and their self-confidence breaks."
He added, "Once the confidence is broken, the scouts offer them a multi-year exclusivity contracts and pressure them to sign-up for it by promising to protect them from predators or offering a pittance. Mind you, breaking these legal contracts means heavy penalties for these budding talents but the scout makes sure through bullying and coercion that there is very little option for the talent but to sign up. Once the talent is signed up with the Talent management agency, they give up their right to exercise free choice and their discretion in any matter concerning career and they are made to work as bonded labor with very little money. Even if they are brave and manage to escape the clutches of their Talent Management agency somehow, they are systematically boycotted and their name smeared till they jump ship to another Agency in the hope of a better tomorrow."
Talking further about the struggle of an actor, Kashyap said, "But that tomorrow never comes. Their new agency turns out to be the same. Over a period of few years, mostly the prime of any actor, the talent is repeatedly broken till they either commit suicide or they succumb to Prostitution and escort services (Yes male escorts also) to feed the ego and sexual appetite of the rich and powerful, not just in Bollywood but also in Corporate world and politics."
He concluded by writing, "So this is not a threat, it's an open challenge. Sushant Singh Rajput has moved on and I hope he is happier wherever he is but I will make sure that no more innocent will kill himself over lack of work with dignity in Bollywood. I hope suffering actors and creative artists will share my post on various social media platforms as will the media and people who patronize the entertainment industry." (ANI)