afaqs! news bureau

Taproot Dentsu’s short film captures the horror that led to the Me Too movement

Made in partnership with iDiva, it shines a light on the abuse women face, and the act of reporting it.

“… He rests his hand on my shoulder, like he’s patting my back, but his hand lingers…”

It’s what a young aspiring woman, full of dreams, faced when she met one of the most renowned architects of the country (for a job interview). He seemed welcoming at first. It soon turned into a nightmare. The woman wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but then the back of his hand began to brush against her chest and he rested his other hand on her thigh…

It’s a scene from the short film called `Nip in the Bud’. Taproot Dentsu, the creative agency from Dentsu international, partnered with iDiva, India’s largest lifestyle community for women, to create this film to commemorate the anniversary of the #MeToo movement.

The woman shuts her laptop and makes a quick exit, only for him to yell and threaten that she would not make a career with this kind of attitude. We then see the woman at a café, where she is writing about what happened to her and then goes on to post it on Twitter.

Later, an older woman reads the tweet and realises, to her horror, that it’s the same man who had abused her 23 years ago. At the end of the film, we see a photograph on the mantle, and guess what? The two women are related and happen to be mother and daughter.

Titus Upputuru, creative head, Taproot Dentsu, Gurgaon, and the writer and director of the ad, said, “It wasn’t an easy subject. One had to keep in mind the sensitivities involved. What happens between a man and a woman within the confines of a professional environment is between them. There are no witnesses. There are no cameras.”

“Nip in the Bud’ is a tribute to every single woman who had the courage to speak about what happened in a moment where there was no one to corroborate the story. Unfortunately, many women took years to report and this allowed the men concerned to continue with the predatory behaviour. Hope this digital film inspires women across the world to nip it in the bud.”

The Me Too movement gathered momentum in India in 2018. Actors, politicians, leading admen, corporate bosses and writers were outed in a series of revelations on social media. Some faced action, while others received a clean chit from the investigators.

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