Bollywood music composer Anu Malik has been fired from the singing reality show Indian Idol by Sony Entertainment Television in the wake of the numerous allegations of sexual harassment that have been levelled against him by multiple women.
The channel has issued an official statement, stating that Malik is “no longer a part of the Indian Idol jury panel.”
“The show will continue its planned schedule and we will invite some of the biggest names in Indian music as guests to join Vishal (Dadlani) and Neha (Kakkar) to judge the extraordinary talent of Indian Idol season 10,” read the statement issued by the channel.
Malik has been judging the Indian Idol since its inception.
Last week, singer Shweta Pandit accused Malik of sexually harassing her when she was 15. In a long Twitter post, Pandit recounted her ordeal and called Malik a “pedophile”. She also thanked singer Sona Mohapatra for calling him out and urged others who have been exploited by him in the past, to speak up. Mohapatra accused Malik of being a “serial offender” and alleged that he would call her at odd hours.
On Saturday, two more women came forward to accuse Malik of sexual harassment.
In her alleged encounter with Malik, the first woman recalled that the composer “rubbed his body” against her and when she expressed shock at his behavior, he apologized meekly.
Another woman, who is an aspiring singer, alleged that she was approached to participate on Indian Idol 10 as a wild card entry but she refused the offer because Malik had sexually harassed her seven years ago.
However, Malik dismissed as “ridiculous” the allegations that have been levelled against him by Pandit. He also denied knowing Mohapatra.
A lawyer for the music composer also said that the #MeToo movement, which is having its India moment, is being used for his client’s “character assassination”.
“The allegations made against my client are emphatically denied as completely false and baseless. My client respects the #MeToo movement but to use this movement to start a character assassination mission is obnoxious,” Malik’s lawyer Zulfiquar Memon said.
Malik has yet to comment on the latest development.