Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt says he has accepted actor Kamaal R. Khan’s apology simply because he apologised and that it takes a lot of courage for someone to apologise in the public space.
Time and again, Kamaal in his past tweets, wrote in a deprecating manner about actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Huma Qureshi, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra, Sunny Leone, Bipasha Basu and Nargis Fakhri.
Vikram recently slapped a defamation case against him for his derogatory remarks towards women in showbiz. Kamaal later apologised for his doing.
Excerpts from an interview with Vikram:
Q: What made you accept Kamaal R. Khan’s apology?
A: The very fact that he apologised.
Q: Are we to presume the legal action against this repeat offender is off?
A: I think it takes a lot of courage for someone to apologise in the public space and he did that.
Q: But what makes you think he can be trusted?
A: I am not a reformer. He abused me, I protested, he apologised. End of story.
Q: But wasn’t this battle not just about you?
A: Oh, but he did apologise to everyone in the fraternity. Haven’t you read his ‘sorry’ tweet?
Q: He has been abusing actresses and it seemed you had decided to get him off Twitter.
A: I have sent all his tweets and everything he has said to Twitter. It is now for Twitter to decide.
Q: The general opinion in the film industry is he decided to say sorry to wriggle out of court?
A: The general opinion never fought this battle with me. I fought this alone without anyone, so the general opinion I can’t care about.
Q: Yes, I noticed no one spoke up, not even the actresses he had abused. Did that bother you?
A: No, it did not.
A: If they could speak up, they would have much earlier. As I said, not everybody was ready for the mud wrestle.
Q: Isn’t this the attitude of quiet acceptance of misogynous behaviour that encourages crime against women?
A: That would be a careless way to put it. Also, I think that is a very different discussion. I think Twitter insults are epidemic. Why just Kamaal R. Khan? Everyone talks shit on Twitter. It’s called troll immunization. Unhappy people make others unhappy.
Q: Should there be stricter laws against online abuse?
A: It will never happen.
A: Most people use aliases on Twitter to abuse. You will never know who this ‘Baby KRK’ is, for instance. Trolls can never be caught out to be punished. They could be anywhere.
Q: On a personal note, your daughter must be proud of her ‘Papa the crusader’?
A: I heard her telling her friends, ‘Don’t mess with me, my papa is a fighter and will fight for me!’.