(Image source from: thehindu.com)
The Bollywood filmmaker Sajid Khan, who was currently directing Housefull 4 starring Akshay Kumar has temporarily stepped down from the film, citing "moral responsibility".
The stepping down comes after actor Akshay Kumar tweeted that he has requested the producers to cancel the shoot until further investigation.
Khan has been accused of sexual assault by three women. "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," wrote Kumar.
Housefull 4 was planned to release around Diwali 2019.
The film also stars actor Nana Patekar, who has been accused of sexual harassment by Tanushree Dutta, who has also filed an FIR (First Information Report) against Patekar.
Former actor and author Twinkle Khanna, wife of Kumar, tweeted that she is appalled at hearing multiple incidents of harassment. "It is truly horrific to hear what these women have been through. Everyone involved in Housefull needs to take a firm stance on this issue. This cannot go on," she wrote.
Filmmaker Farah Khan, sister of Khan, tweeted condemning her brother's actions. "This is a heartbreaking time for my family. We have to work through some very difficult issues. If my brother has behaved in this manner he has a lot to atone for. I don't in any way endorse this behavior and stand in solidarity with any woman who has been hurt," she wrote.
Actor-director Farhan Akhtar, the cousin of Khan, also came out in support of the three women who accused the filmmaker. "I cannot adequately stress how shocked, disappointed and heartbroken I am to read the stories about Sajid’s behavior. I don’t know how but he will have to find a way to atone for his alleged actions," wrote Khan.
A journalist, an actor Rachel White, and former assistant director who worked with Khan had narrated their experiences of sexual harassment involving the director on Thursday on Twitter using the #MeTooIndia.