Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan has defended the casting couch culture, saying the Indian film industry “at least” provided jobs and did not abandon women after raping them. She said said that the casting couch is an “age-old” practice and the film industries should not be held responsible for being its sole breeding ground.
Here is the full statement of Saroj Khan on 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).”
She also said that it abides by the principle of consent. ” Saroj Khan apologised for the comments but the damage was done.
Saroj Khan’s Defence Of Casting Couch Outrages Celebs And Twitter. ‘Lost Respect,’ They Say
Sri Reddy, who recently staged a nude protest against the casting couch in Chennai, and Sophie Choudry condemned Saroj Khan’s statement. “I lost respect for you Saroj ma’am. It is giving a wrong indication that you have to be a slave to producers,” Sri Reddy told news agency ANI.
I lost respect for you Saroj ma’am. Being an elder you should give a good path to young actresses. It is giving a wrong indication that you have to be a slave to producers: Sri Reddy (actress who alleged that women are sexual exploited by producers) on Saroj Khan’s remark. pic.twitter.com/I9TWmLahrX
— ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2018
Sophie Choudry countered Saroj Khan’s statement, in which she also said that artistes have a choice, and tweeted: “Nobody wants to sleep with someone for work. But they are made to feel it’s the only way and “acceptable”. And for those who don’t, it’s a tough road! This has to stop.”
Can’t begin to think what thousands of girls go through in the hope that their “dreams” will come true! Nobody wants to sleep with someone for work. But they are made to feel it’s the only way & “acceptable”. And for those who don’t, it’s a tough road! This has to stop! #TimesUp
— Sophie Choudry (@Sophie_Choudry) April 24, 2018
We don’t want too irresponsible statements and placards- Manjinder Sirsa
People who are short of work…
Always compensate with more words.
— Manjinder S Sirsa (@mssirsa) April 24, 2018
There are some who praised her for her revealing Bollywood secrets. Bollywood is basically a high class Prostitution says Prashant Umrao
Nothing to be surprised on #SarojKhan statement. Bollywood is basically a high class Prostitution world with cocktail of Underworld which keep people intoxicated & diverted.
— Prashant P. Umrao (@ippatel) April 24, 2018
Saroj Khan has confirmed something which we all knew
— Rishi Bagree 🇮🇳 (@rishibagree) April 24, 2018
Most actors & actresses are High Class Prostitutes at a price
#SarojKhan justifies casting couch,calls it age-old practice done with consent,says Film industry at least gives livelihood after Raping.
Most actors & actresses are High Class Prostitutes at a price.Same people pretend to be Feminists 😂#Bollywood hypocrites won’t outrage now.
— Jagrati Shukla (@JagratiShukla29) April 24, 2018
She destroyed Bollywood’s veil of secrecy and exposed the naked truth
In one swift blow, she destroyed Bollywood’s veil of secrecy and exposed the naked truth, literally & figuratively. Respect for Bollywood has dived easily by a billion miles. Most repulsive & disgusting!
— ProfMK (@_ProfMK) April 24, 2018
After Khan came Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury’s shocker.
The senior politician admitted that the Parliament was not immune to this unpleasant reality either when asked to respond to the choreographer’s justification for the casting couch offering work in exchange of sexual favours.
“It’s the bitter truth. It’s not just in film industry. With women this happens everywhere. Don’t imagine that parliament is immune or some other work space is immune to it. If you look at the western world, established top actresses have taken this long to come out and say ‘me too’. It’s time India stood up and said ‘me too’,” urged Chowdhury.
What are your views on casting couch? How serious is this issue?