In a press conference held in Mahim, the lady was joined by Shalini Thackeray, president, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and Ameya Khopkar, president, Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena
The Rajgad room of Matoshri Tower was packed to the brim with reporters from various publications. Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hain’s actress Shilpa Shinde along with Shalini Thackeray and Ameya Khopkar addressed the media. It was Khopkar who spoke first. He said, “We will support Shilpa in all possible ways. You know what kind of ways we can use to get justice.” Thereafter, Shilpa took the mike to vent out her issues. She said, “Sometimes issues happen between a producer and artiste. It has been a year since the show started. Most problems are solved through mutual talks. But if they say I threw tantrums, they should have mentioned them. They should not have decided to just replace me. I was mentally tortured and bullied into working. My image was maligned. I knew they were looking for a replacement but could not find one so they pressurized me to pay compensation. A Marathi actor is being treated like this in Maharashtra. That is why Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is supporting me. CINTAA should not have intervened. It was a legal contract. The producer should have taken legal recourse. They did not. The makers went to CINTAA.”
As we know the producers have alleged that Shilpa threw a lot of tantrums and did not co-operate with her co-actors. Khopkar stated, “There are so many artistes in the industry who throw tantrums. Why aren’t they pulled up? Who gave CINTAA the rights? If they do this again we will not let any shoots happen in Maharashtra. They can take legal action against us. This is a threat from us.” Shalini Thackeray further said, “The episodes haven’t stopped. Everything is going on smoothly without Shilpa. What compensation are you talking about? We have had so many complaints from actors no associations have intervened. The termination notice was never sent to Shilpa.”
The actress stated that MNS’ Chitrapat Sena was a division that catered to actors and she was not trying to give it political twist. Shalini Thackeray questioned the media as to why only Marathi artistes were victimized. She further said that it was illegal of CINTAA to ban her. Khopkar added that Shilpa was fighting legally with advocate Ashish Kumar from Delhi. If Shilpa got other show and if she is stopped from doing it, the group will take action. Thackeray stated, “Why she was not explained the problem. My question is who can take away the constitutional right of freedom of employment. My issue is not about who is replaced on a show.”
The actress also spoke about the exclusivity contract. She vented, “Producers don’t give notice. Am I not human? Can’t I fall sick? They can’t buy me head to toe. The Kapil Sharma Show’s creative producer was pressurized to say that I won’t be taken on. Benaifer (Kohli) never gave me a money raise. Her claims are false. Every artiste has a personal problem no one supported me because it was my fight. My co-stars have said it is not right to ban someone.”
Thackeray added, “This kind of pressure will affect the performance of an artiste whether he is Marathi or not. We don’t care about the show and we just want to fight for Shilpa’s rights. MNS will not spare anyone who stops Shilpa from working in Mumbai, Maharashtra.”
Throwing tantrums about petty issues is one of the allegations leveled against Shilpa. She said, “When I was not working for Bhabhiji, I got a call from The Kapil Sharma Show. They actually said we are ready to take care of your tantrums.” Thackeray reminded them that when Pratyusha Banerjee was reportedly ousted from Balika Vadhu due to tantrums issue, she was replaced without a ban. Where was CINTAA then?
Shilpa added, “I was given a holiday and they did not call me. When I asked about the rumours of me getting replaced, no one cleared the air. Later, they said I was not reporting on the sets without a notice. They should have solved my problems. I was sitting at home. They should compensate me. I am only replying to notices. I am not worried that people won’t approach me for work because I took the legal way or approached the MNS as I am right. I never told anyone to move the sets to Film City. It was a small matter that got blown up. A producer makes four to five shows at a time. They cannot incur losses. No one (no actor) is commentating because they are worried about their jobs. But from today, they will give statements. Mark my words.”
Khopkar added, “I am repeating Shilpa has come to us in her fight against CINTAA. All we are saying is that no one can stop her from working. If that happens, we will deal it our way. We are threatening them. Till date, we have only stopped artistes who do not have work permit.”
Shilpa stated, “This is a message to CINTAA not to intervene in this. If I wanted to could take the MNS’ help and take out a morcha. You cannot bully anyone or play games. I am a Marathi mulgi, don’t forget that.”
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