Composer Anu Malik was back at the centre of the #MeToo controversy on Thursday with singer Neha Bhasin terming him a "predator" and reiterating her allegation that he had misbehaved with her 15 years ago when she was just 21. Attempts to reach out to Malik were unsuccessful. A representative of Sony, where Malik is back as a judge on the reality show "Indian Idol", declined to comment.
Mohapatra has often called out Malik for his alleged behaviour on Twitter and in various media interviews. Bhasin used Mohapatra's Twitter timeline to support her colleague and recount an incident from back in the day when she was new to the industry.
Bhasin, who voiced the popular song 'Jag Ghoomiya", said she had met Malik, an industry senior, to present her work in a CD and was hoping for a song break, but his behaviour turned out to be that of an "ugly pervert".
"We do live in a very sexist world. Anu Malik is a predator, I too have run away from his strange moves when I was 21. I didn't let myself get into a sticky situation beyond him lying on a sofa in front of me talking about my eyes in a studio. I fled lying my mum's waiting below. He even msged and called me after that to which I stopped responding," she said in a post that created a stir online.
I agee with you. We do live in a very sexist world. Anu Malik is a predetor, i too have run away from his strange moves when i was 21. I didn't let myself get into a sticky situation beyond him lying on a sofa in front of me talking about my eyes in a studio. I fleed lying https://t.co/tQgStLrYyT— Neha Bhasin (@nehabhasin4u) October 30, 2019
Bhasin said "the industry or the world" is not an easy place for a young woman away from her family. "Perverts exist inside and outside our industry but why are we so so forgiving to the men, do we realise that is what gives them the strength to ruin our dignity, hide us women in our houses," she said.
I fleed lying my mums waiting below. He even msgd and called me after that to which i stopped responding. The point is i went to give him my cd and hope for a chance at a song. He was older and shouldnt have behaved the way he did. @The_AnuMalik is an ugly pervert and does not https://t.co/tQgStLrYyT— Neha Bhasin (@nehabhasin4u) October 30, 2019
Even though i have a brave DNA Sona :) as you have known me the industry or the world was not an easy place as a young girl alone away from family due to many such Incidents or getting a hunch of such perverts. Perverts exist inside n outside our industry but why are we so https://t.co/VcCxryE8Ff— Neha Bhasin (@nehabhasin4u) October 31, 2019
(2) so forgiving to the men, do we realise that is what gives them the strength to ruin our dignity, hide us women in our houses. I hid many times so as to not get myself in a sticky situation. Why is it ok? For a man who is predetor to walk free while we hide in shame n fear? https://t.co/VcCxryE8Ff— Neha Bhasin (@nehabhasin4u) October 31, 2019
Following the allegations last year, Sony removed Malik as a judge but got him back in September this year.
Bhasin said she had said everything she had to about Malik but blamed Sony for reinstating the composer as the judge on a singing reality show.
The press thinks i have something more to say.I said what i had to. @The_AnuMalik has been accused several times @SonyTV alone knows why he is so precious to them.Or why so many men here are supporting him. Power tripping was a thing of t 90s so look out perverts v are not scared— Neha Bhasin (@nehabhasin4u) October 31, 2019
When we were in Viva we met many legendary music directors. Out of which we were warned against two by our very own management n crew and were asked to wear salwar kameez n sit away @The_AnuMalik was one of them. Stop normalizing sleaziness. Stop making it ok@pratichee remember?— Neha Bhasin (@nehabhasin4u) October 31, 2019
Mohapatra, in an open letter, reiterated the claims made by Bhasin and Shweta Pandit, another singer who had called out Malik last year.
Mohapatra said speaking up about Malik cost her the judge's seat on a music reality show as she was told that her allegation against the composer helped the TRPs of their rival's programme.
"I was marked as a troublemaker and asked to leave. Overnight," she added in her Facebook post. A year later, a sexual predator like Anu is back as Judge on national TV. What does this say about us as a society."
Mohapatra has also accused Sonu Nigam and Vishal Dadlani, Malik's co-judge, of supporting the composer.