The very talented Nawazuddin Siddiqui may be facing a minor career crisis after being called out by an actress in the #MeToo campaign. The actress, Niharika Singh, claims Nawazuddin insisted on a sexual relationship although she wasn’t keen.
A part of her post reads, “I tried to push him away but he wouldn’t let go. After a little coercion, I finally gave in. I wasn’t sure what to make of this relationship. He told me it was his dream to have a Miss India or an actress wife, just like Paresh Rawal and Manoj Bajpayee. I found his little confession funny but endearing…He often complained about how he was judged on his looks, skin colour and that he wasn’t fluent in English. I tried to help him deal with his insecurities, but he was stuck in a state of victimization.”
Acting quickly Phantom Films (themselves embroiled in #MeToo allegations against director Vikas Bahl who is shooting the bio-pic Super 30 for them) indefinitely postponed the release of the new Nawaz starrer Ghoomketu which was due on 16 November.
But, the damage could go much deeper. The second season of Netflix’s Sacred Games may now be dropped. Two other crew members of the series writer Varun Grover and Vikas Bahl (whose now-dissolved parent company Phantom Films is a co-producer on Sacred Games) have already been called out by women for sexual misconduct.
Having effectively defended Grover’s inclusion in the second season of Sacred Games Netflix may find it impossible to defend Nawaz’s presence in the series. Sources close to the project say Netflix is likely to drop Nawaz from the second season of Sacred Games, though the series won’t be dropped.
Interestingly, actress Kubbra Sait, who is part of the cast of Sacred Games, has come forward in defence of Nawaz against the allegations levelled by Niharika Singh.
Kubbra wrote, “A relationship gone sour isn’t #MeToo someone needs to recognize the toxic difference before we go picking sides. I stand by #NawazuddinSiddiqui or #Nowaz as a man.”
However, Kubbra being a part of the series that now enters the danger zone because of the allegations against Nawaz is not quite the correct person to defend Nawaz.
The actor himself has gone into hiding. In an earlier conversation, he had told me, “I’ve made mistakes in my life. Everyone has. That doesn’t make me guilty of any crime. If a relationship works or doesn’t work, one person cannot be blamed for it. There are two people involved.”