Veteran actor Mukesh Khanna has issued a statement clarifying his remarks on the #MeToo movement, which led to outrage on social media, saying his comments were presented in a “wrong manner”.
According to a video clip from an interview given to a news channel, Khanna claimed that #MeToo happened because women tried “walking shoulder to shoulder with men”.
Responding to the criticism from social media users, the 62-year-old actor released a statement on Instagram Saturday, saying he was being made to look “anti-women”.
“I respect women and I’m concerned regarding their safety. Some people have created a lot of noise out of a clipping from my interview.
“I never said that women shouldn’t work… In that video, I was merely throwing light on the difficulties women face when they step out to work… But I never said that MeToo happens when women go out,” the actor wrote.
The #MeToo movement started in Hollywood in 2017 after many women from the entertainment industry called out various powerful men for sexually harassing them, drawing focus on the workplace safety.
A year later, it gathered momentum in Bollywood when actor Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexual harassment. Following this, many women in the Indian film industry came out to speak against the culture of toxic work environment.
Khanna, best known for playing titular superhero in TV series Shaktimaan and Bhishma Pitamaha in Mahabharata, said he had also expressed his concern over women’s safety in workplace a year ago in a video message.
The actor wrote his career of four decades is a reflection of his respect for women.
“I just want to request all my friends and well wishers to not present my statement in a wrong manner. My career of forty years is a testimony to how much I respect women.
“If my statement has hurt any woman, then I am really sad that I haven’t been able to put across my thoughts in a correct manner,” he added.