Casting Couch has once again become the hot topic of discussion after Telugu actress Sri reddy’s nude protest against it and choreographer Saroj Khan’s statement in which she defended casting couch. Now, Radhika Apte and Usha Jadhav share their story of sexual harassment that they faced in the Bollywood industry. They appeared in a documentary titled ‘Bollywood’s Dark Secret’ by BBC and spoke at length on how the victims are often afraid to name their sexual abusers.
Girls fear to speak against “powerful” people, says Radhika
“Some people are regarded as gods. They are so powerful that people just don’t think that my voice is going to matter, or people think that if I speak, probably my career is going to get ruined,” Apte tells BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan in “Bollywood’s Dark Secret.”
Asked what she thought about the #metoo campaign against harassment in Hollywood, the “Pad Man” star added: “The way the women, and the men of course, came together and decided that as a team we are not going to let this happen, I wish that could happen here.”
Usha shared her own ordeal
In the same documentary, Marathi award winning actress Usha Jadhav Usha, on the other hand, narrated her own experience where she was asked to provide sexual favours in return of work. “I said something on the lines of, ‘What? I don’t have money’. He said, ‘No, no, no, no. It’s not about money, it’s about you sleeping with, maybe it can be a producer, maybe it can be a director, it can be both too,”
The issue of casting couch recently made headlines after nude protest by Telugu actress Sri Reddy against casting couch &sexual harassment
She accused some prominent personalities from the south industry of sexually exploiting her on the pretext of giving her work. She had stripped her clothes in front of Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce office in Hyderabad protesting the alleged exploitation.
Saroj Khan Defended Casting Couch in Bollywood Recently
Choreographer Saroj Khan made headlines on Tuesday(24 April) for making a statement in support of the practice of casting couch. “Yeh chala aa raha hai Baba azam ke zamaane se. Har ladki ke upar koi na koi haath saaf karne ki koshish karta hai. Govt ke log bhi karte hain. (This is not a new thing, this has existed for a long time. Everyone wants to take advantage of girls, even the government).”
Tum film industry ke peeche kyun pade ho? Woh kam se kam roti toh deti hai. Rape karke chhod toh nahi deti. (Even people in the government abuse girls and women, why are you after the film industry? The industry also provides livelihood, it does not discard the woman after that).”
She then took the typical route of blaming the victim and said, “Yeh ladki ke upar hai ki tum kya karna chahti ho. Tum uske haath mein nahi aana chahti ho toh nahi aaogi. Tumhare paas art hai toh tum kyun bechoge apne aap ko? Film industry ko kuch mat kehna, woh humaara mai-baap hai. (What a woman wants depends on her, if she does not want to be a victim then she won’t be one. If you have your art, why would you sell yourself? Do not blame the film industry, it is what provides us our livelihood).”
What are your views on casting couch? How serious is this issue?