Web series Sacred Games which was recently renewed by Netflix for a second season faces an uncertain future after sexual harassment allegations against its writer Varun Grover. The series starring Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte in lead roles, was based on author Vikram Chandra’s novel of the same name and was released by Netflix earlier this year. The first season of the series was directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane.
In an e-mailed response to The Financial Express Online, Netflix said that it is currently ‘evaluating’ its option on the matter. Even though the streaming service refused to confirm if the production of the show can be stopped, it said, “At this time we are evaluating options on the path forward.”
It also refused to comment if the show could be made without Grover as its writer.
Last year in October when actor Kevin Spacey was accused of sexually assaulting actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14-years-old, Netflix had replaced him for the final season of popular show ‘House of Cards’. The sixth and shortest season of the show featured Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear in place of Spacey.
Varun Grover was accused of misconduct by an unnamed woman on Twitter. The woman had claimed that the incident took place in 2001 when Varun was a student of Banaras Hindu University.
However, the writer-lyricist has denied these allegations by calling them ‘defamatory’. “Really unfortunate that these completely fabricated and defamatory allegations have been made on me. NONE of the sequence of events as described in that anonymous screenshot happened ever and I deny all of it with all the conviction I have in my bones,” he had tweeted.
Anurag Kashyap and ‘Masaan’ director Neeraj Ghaywan have come out in Varun’s support. Anurag tweeted, “This man I have known so closely and so so long that I refuse to believe any allegations about him. #believethevictim and investigate the claims and also be careful to not let vested interests sabotage a long pending genuine movement.”
“It’s appalling how such slanderous allegations are trying to sabotage the #MeToo movement in India. Varun is someone who is truly putting his weight and career behind for this movement. It is horribly irresponsible of whoever is behind this to malign him,” Neeraj tweeted.