Bollywood actress Preity Zinta has found herself in the middle of a controversy after an interview of her talking about the #MeToo movement went viral. She was heavily criticised on social media for making comments perceived to be trivialising the #MeToo movement.
However, Preity responded first by saying that the video was “bad editing” and later released a long note on Twitter clarifying her stance and thoughts on the matter.
“To all the women out there,” Preity wrote in a note posted to Twitter, “I am sorry if I have unintentionally hurt your sentiments on the #MeToo movement.”
“It’s ironic that someone who has gone through abuse, as I have, has to clarify this,” she continued, referring to her fight with Ness Wadia.
Clarifying her words in the interview, Preity wrote, “My reason for saying ‘I wish something like this would have happened to me’ in the film industry with a smile was because I would have reacted and slapped the person. So it never happened and much later when it happened I did react and the whole world saw it.”
Referring to her Sweetu comment, Preity said, “The Sweetu and MeToo comment was not mine but I was quoting a man, which implied that men are now cautious in their approach to women at work.”
Preity also said that she did not want the movement to be diluted by women with false allegations because “My brother went through it and eventually shot himself.”
The actor concluded by saying that women should not be victim shamed and men cannot be automatically vilified either. She said, “I have seen both sides of the coin and I’m very hurt and sad I have to write such a long clarification especially after advocating and fighting for women’s rights all my life.”
— Preity G Zinta (@realpreityzinta) November 20, 2018
In interview with Bollywood Hungama, Priety had made a series of problematic comments which had flared up her fans and audiences. For example, when asked if she had personally experienced any harassment, Preity began to giggle before going onto say, “No, I haven’t, I wish I had… [Then] I would have an answer to tell you.”
The video of her interview went viral on social media with many accusing her of mocking the #MeToo movement:
Following the backlash, Zinta tweeted on Monday saying the video was edited badly “to trivialise and be insensitive.”
“Really sad to see how the interview is edited to trivialise and be insensitive. Not everything is traction and as someone being interviewed I expected decency & maturity from a journalist. I did 25 interviews that day and only yours turned out edited like this,” she had written in her tweet.
Really sad 2see how the interview Is edited to trivialis& be insensitive. Not everything is traction & as someone being interviewed I expected decency & maturity froma journalist @iFaridoon. I did 25 interviews that day & only yours turned out edited like this #dissappointed
— Preity G Zinta (@realpreityzinta) November 19, 2018
Although Zinta is no longer very active in Bollywood, a few years ago she was at the top of the industry and starred as the leading lady in films with superstars Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan – so there remains a lot of interest in what she says.
The Indian #MeToo movement began in September when actress Tanushree Dutta brought up her 10-year-old allegation against veteran actor Nana Patekar, accusing him of harassing her on a film set in 2008, a charge Patekar has vehemently denied.
But since then several other Bollywood actors and directors have faced accusations of improper behaviour.