Actor Sonu Sood, who has walked out of Manikarnika, slammed co-actor Kangana Ranaut for making the issue about “male chauvinism”.  The actor says he made an exit from the project owing to his professional commitment towards Rohit Shetty’s Simmba.

However, Kangana, the leading lady of the film, has claimed that Sonu “refused to work under a woman director”. On Saturday, Sonu came out with an official statement, saying gender had no play in his decision to walk out of the historical drama directed by Krishna Jagarlamudi.

Also read: We should attack patriarchy, chauvinism: Kangana Ranaut

“Kangana is a dear friend and she will always remain one but this constant playing the woman card, the victim card and making this entire issue about male chauvinism is ridiculous,” the actor said.

“The gender of the director is not the issue. Competence is. Let’s not confuse the two. I have worked with Farah Khan who is a competent woman director and Farah and I had a great professional equation and we are still best of friends. That’s all I would like to say,” he added.

Kangana has stepped in to direct the patchwork of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, which tells the story of Rani Laxmibai, in the absence of Krish, who is currently busy fulfilling his commitments for another project.

After Sonu Sood stormed out of the project, Kangana addressed the issue and said, “He refused to meet me. He vehemently denied working under a woman director, which is kind of amusing because Sonu is a dear friend and I have even launched the music of a film that he produced at his request. Even though the team suggested that they have full faith in me, it seems, Sonu had neither dates nor faith.”

Read more: Sonu Sood refused to meet me…vehemently refused to work under a woman director: Kangana Ranaut

Sonu, who plays a grey character in Simmba, has grown a beard as part of his look and is busy shooting for the film. But the actor was supposed to have been clean shaven like a warrior in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, backed by Zee Studios and producer Kamal Jain.

It was reported that the makers of the film will tweak the script of the historical biopic because of his new look for the film Simmba. But the plan didn’t work.

Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi is slated to release on January 25, 2019.