Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan, who is one of the most prominent dance choreographers in Hindi cinema, has got herself in trouble after she made a recent (ignorant) statement on casting couch. The 69-year-old had a bizarre justification of prevailing casting couch situation in the industry. Yes, the veteran choreographer, while speaking about casting couch on a TV channel, said that blaming the film industry for it is unfair, further adding that ‘at least it provides livelihood and doesn’t abandon after rape. Yes, it is shocking that it coming from someone who’s been in the industry for decades.
Defending casting couch in the film industry at a recent event, where she was asked to comment on south Indian actress Sri Reddy’s protest against the practice in Telangana, Saroj Khan said, “Should I say something? this is going on from ‘baba Adam’s times’, it is not new. Someone or the other always try to take an advantage of a girl. The government does it too, then why are we only behind the film industry? It provides livelihood at least. Does not rape and leave you. It is up to the girl, what she wants to do. If you don’t want to fall into wrong hands, you won’t. If you have art, why would you sell yourself? Don’t take the film industry’s name, it is everything to us.”
Casting couch is not new to Bollywood. In fact, the debate kickstarted post the Tollywood actress Sri Reddy raised awareness about it in the Telugu film industry with her public stripping protest in Hyderabad. While actresses from B-Town are fighting for it to stop, veteran choreographer Saroj Khan had otherwise to say. However, Saroj Khan apologised soon after; she said ‘sorry’ for having made the comment. But unfortunately, the damage has been done, hasn’t it?
Here’s what she said, check out the tweets…
Every industry has been plagued by issues when it comes to the wrongful use of power by authorities, and the entertainment world has had its own share of problems. One of Bollywood’s most talked about concern has been the topic of casting couch. It is something which is akin to Bollywood and is a topic of conversation for more than the last few decades. Saroj has made actresses like Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan dance to her tunes, but now it seems like her recent statement has landed her in trouble. Watch this space for further updates.