New Delhi: After veteran choreographer kick-started a row for her comments on casting couch, Radhika Apte and Marathi actor Usha Jadhav have shared their bits about sexual exploitation in Bollywood.
They have voiced their concerns in a BBC documentary titled Bollywood’s Dark Secrets, which is set to be aired this weekend.
“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,” said Radhika Apte, according to a report in a Mumbai based Indian daily.
National award-winning actor Usha Jadhav spoke about the patriarchy in the industry and how these powerfull men demand sexual favours. She spoke about an instance where she was told she had to give something in return for an opportunity she was offered. “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,” Jadhav said.
While the #MeToo campaign originating from Hollywood shocked the world, it seems our very own entertainment industry is about to start a similar movement in India, since none have happened recently.
It all started when Tollywood actor Sri Reddy came out in protest of sexual exploitation and casting couch. She stripped in public, demanding justice for not getting work in Telugu film industry. Following her protest, the Movie Artistes Association (MAA), an apex body of the Telugu film industry, had said the aspiring actor would not be made a member of the organisation. Things went downhill when she abused actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan for his advice on how to deal with casting couch, on television.
More recently, on Tuesday, choreographer Saroj Khan said that the ‘tradition’ has been going on since centuries and blaming just Bollywood is unfair.
“This is going on from ‘baba Adam’s times’, it is not new. Someone or the other always tries to take an advantage of a girl. The government officials do it too, then why are we only behind the film industry? It provides livelihood at least,” she had said, for which she later apologised.