While Hollywood celebrities came forward and openly spoke about ‘sexual harassment at work’ and shared their stories about how they have been physically abused by men from the film industry through the #MeToo movement, Bollywood has remained tight-lipped about their own. Recently,
BBC News dropped a clip online, ‘Is Bollywood ready for #MeToo?’, from its documentary Bollywood’s Dark Secret. The clip had some shocking revelations; we see Radhika Apte, Usha Jadav and a struggling actress spoke up about the rampant sexual harassment in Bollywood.
Bollywood has been plagued by the evil of casting couch for many years and many celebs have spoken out against it. Bollywood actress Radhika Apte too opened up her experiences with the casting couch in a BBC documentary. She said, “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. 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.”
Meanwhile, Usha Jadav, in the BBC News video, said, “Sleep with me if you want to do this part. I need sexual relation with you. I said no. He said if you are saying no, then I am not going to cast you in the film.”
The 25-year-old aspiring actress, who wished to keep her identity anonymous, spoke about how her big Bollywood dream crumbled after her first meeting with a casting agent. She added, “He started telling me, for an actress you should be happy to have sex. He touched me wherever he wanted, he kissed me wherever he wanted and I was shocked. He put his hand inside my clothes, so I asked him to stop and he said: ‘You know what, if you really want to work in this industry I don’t think you’ve got the right attitude’.” ALSO READ: Sophie Choudry On Saroj Khan’s Casting Couch Remark: Nobody Wants To Sleep With Someone For Work But they Are Made To Feel It’s The Only Way
Farhan Akhtar, who has also been featured in the video, said, “It’s an unfortunate reality, hopefully, it will change, and it will change I guess with women speaking up, some amount of shaming happening will put some fear in people’s hearts.” Watch this space for further updates.