Netflix will continue with its existing producers of “Sacred Games” for the second season after conducting an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations, reports Reuters. Netflix will continue to work with Varun Grover, one of the writers of Sacred Games’ first season, and Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, whose production house Phantom Films produced the show. Netflix’s statement to Reuters reads, “We continue to collaborate with our production partners to ensure and maintain a safe and respectful working environment.”
MediaNama has reached out to Netflix for comment, and will update this when we hear from them.
Netflix renewed its first original in India ‘Sacred Games’ for its second season, but ran into trouble after Phantom Films co-founder Vikas Bahl, and writer Grover were accused of sexual harassment. The company had said it may not renew the show for a second season.
Motwane and Kashyap were accused of complicity after the two allegedly failed to act proactively and promptly in response to an allegation levelled against Bahl. Earlier this month, the two stepped down from the board of the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. Phantom Films was also dissolved after the survivor (who accused Bahl) spoke up about the alleged incident in HuffPost India report.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who was in Mumbai this week, told Mid-Day that the company was Netflix was “comfortable” with going forward in association with Motwane and Kashyap. “It [the decision] has absolutely nothing to do with House Of Cards, or anything else. There are individual cases, with separate circumstances, and different people [involved]. They’re all very tough calls. And we take them all very seriously. In the case of Sacred Games, there was an investigation. And we were comfortable with the outcome of going forward with Anurag and Vikram,” Sarandos told the publication.
How Netflix reacted to sexual harassment allegations in the US
- In the US, Netflix cut ties with Kevin Spacey, who played the lead character in House of Cards, and dropped a film starring him.
- The company also cut ties with comedian Louis CK after multiple allegations of sexual harassment came to light, and he admitted he was responsible for.
Netflix’s anti-sexual harassment rules
In June, Netflix introduced a new anti-sexual harassment training, which Sarandos said for all Netflix productions throughout the world. The new rules reportedly include not looking at anyone for longer than five seconds, no lingering hugs, no flirting and no asking for a colleague’s phone number. The company declined to confirm or deny but said in a statement: “We’re proud of the anti-harassment training we offer to our productions. We want every Netflix production to be a safe and respectful working environment. We believe the resources we offer empower people on our sets to speak up, and shouldn’t be trivialised.”