Casting director Mukesh Chhabra is the latest Bollywood fallout of #MeToo. PeepingMoon.com sources say that Fox Star Studios has dropped the axe on Chhabra who was making his directorial debut with their film Kizie Aur Manny starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi.
[caption id="attachment_96804" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Poster of Kizie aur Manny[/caption]
Chhabra, whose last big film as casting director was Aamir Khan’s blockbuster Dangal in 2016, was accused of alleged harassment by four aspiring actors during auditions. He reacted by denying the allegations as being “unsubstantiated, wild and anonymous”. But by then the damage had been done.
His claim that the allegations were motivated did not work. Chhabra was first replaced by another casting director in the India Film Project, an annual content creation festival held in Mumbai where contestants are given 50 hours to make a film, where he was a member of the jury.
Now comes the news that Fox Star Studios has also kicked Chhabra out of their romantic-tragic comedy Kizie Aur Manny based on the 2014 Hollywood film The Fault in Our Stars. This is to be the studio’s big production in 2019. Otherwise, it is distributing Dharma Productions’ Student of The Year 2, Kalank and Brahmastra next year besides Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga and Housefull 4.
Fox Star Studios is believed to have demanded the dismissal of Sajid Khan as director of Housefull 4 because of the sexual harassment allegations against him. And now it has struck out Chhabra who reportedly also purchased the rights of Kizie Aur Manny and had worked hard on the script and the casting.