Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with a delegation of Bollywood artistes to discuss issues and problem within the industry. There’s one problem though – there were no women present.
As per photos shared on social media, the delegation consisted of 18 men and zero women.
Indian media reports said the panel included Ajay Devgn, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Ritesh Sidhwani, Karan Johar, Akshay Kumar and members of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) among others from the industry. Akshay Kumar took to Twitter to thank Modi for hosting them, and was met with a lot of backlash from people who have had it with ‘manels’.
It’s important to note that this year has seen an unprecedented “clean-up” in Bollywood following a series of sexual harassment accusations against some men in the industry. These include celebrated actor Nana Patekar, film-maker Sajid Khan and Vikas Bahl. Many filmmakers and actors have distanced themselves from those accused.
Aamir Khan, who called the exploitation of women in the film industry rampant, even pulled out of Mogul, a biopic of Gulshan Kumar, with film-maker Subhash Kapoor, who has been accused of sexual assault by actress Geetika Tyagi back in 2014.
Here’s how Twitter reacting to the latest ‘manel’
Actor Dia Mirza was quick to point out the glaring absence of women:
The director of Lipstick Under My Burkha spoke true words: It’s 2018, ya’ll.
Activists, filmmakers, writers and others expressed their disappointment: