South Indian actress Sruthi Hariharan accused popular actor Arjun Sarja of sexual harassment during the shooting of their bilingual film, Vismaya. As a part of Me Too Movement, Sruthi Hariharan shared that how during a rehearsal scene, the actor inappropriately touched her. “During the rehearsal, we delivered our lines and Mr. Arjun hugs me. With no forewarning or permission, he runs his hands intimately up and down my back. He pulls me closer with my body taut against his and asks the director if we could use this idea of foreplay in the scene,” the 29-year-old actress recalled in a long post on social media.
Now the director of the film, Arun Vaidyanthan has shared his side of the story over the accusations made by the actress against Arjun Sarja.
#metoo #comingout against all odds. Inspite of the all the comments, backlash and misogyny that will follow, I share my experiences below cos this is about a larger change! Bring it on ! #Speakup men and women . It's time. pic.twitter.com/xzjA8EnGjR
— sruthihariharan (@sruthihariharan) October 20, 2018
The director of the film took to Facebook and reacted to Sruthi Hariharan’s sexual harassment accusations against Arjun Sarja. He says, “Arjun sir and Sruthi Hariharan, both are my good friends and I know their families too very well. Regarding Arjun sir, he is a perfect gentleman on sets who is a professional when it comes to the craft of acting. The same applies to Sruthi too. I just received the statement where Sruthi has called out Arjun sir in the #Metoo movement. Am shocked to know of the same and regarding the particular scene mentioned, it was an intimate romantic scene. We did rehearse the same before the shot and discussed ideas. I edited out certain improvs offered, finalized the staging and moved on to shooting the scene. Improv is a common process in filmmaking and that’s how movies happen. Sometimes, a magic happens during those kind of improvs too, which you can’t deny. The shoot happened almost two years back and I don’t remember the minute details of the said incident.”
He further says, “One more thing, I want to bring it out here. The said intimate scene was written much more intimate than what was shot finally and Arjun Sir requested me to tone it down during the scripting stage itself. He said ‘ I have teen daughters now and can’t perform such scenes anymore’. I also understood the same and rewrote it entirely different. The above said statements regarding the shoot and the rewrite was a honest portrayal of what really happened. What transpired between two adults outside my sets or personally between them over calls or chats, unless or otherwise brought to my attention as a complaint, I can’t comment on the same and it’s not right too.”
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