For a woman living in India, harassment while walking on the street, or molestation at a crowded public place, is very common. Several actresses have been a victim of harassment in the Film Industry. Earlier, #MeToo movement came to light which exposed some popular names from several professional fields in India. Let’s take a look at some of the actresses who have faced casting couch in their lives.
Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar has just opened up a shocking story, which nobody had ever imagined before. The 32-year-old actress revealed that the director has always been disrespectful towards her. She said adding that she was the victim of harassment by the director, but it took her nearly six to eight years to understand that she was being sexually harassed by a director.
“It took me 6-8 years to realise when I heard someone else talk about their experience of harassment at a panel discussion like this. I was like God, what happened to me 3 years ago was actually sexual harassment at work place! I never realised it because like you said, I escaped. Because the person did not touch me and I managed to ward it off,” Swara said.
Swara is not the only woman who has faced casting couch, but many other actresses from the film Industry have also gone through the casting couch.
Swara said, “A film director somehow entered my room and insisted on hugging me. He was drunk at that time”. She went on to say that she was asked for sexual favours in exchange for a film role and she lost several roles for not agreeing with conditions.
Television actress Shilpa Shinde also faced casting couch, she had accused ‘Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hai’ producer Sanjay Kohli of sexual harassment. She alleged that Sanjay Kohli called her sexy and tried to hug her forcefully. “Once Sanjay ji told me that for the promotion of show, we will have to go out.and that we will have a nice time. Also, in the make-up room, he came close to me and photo lete huye and apna haath rakha mujhe…I could feel that touch was not right,” she says.
Television actress Iccha had a horrible experience while travelling from Mumbai to Rajkot for an event. She was a victim to sexual harassment on the flight she was on board. At first she thought it’s a kid but when she turned behind, Iccha was shocked to see it was a full grown man.
TV actress Rhea Chakraborty also faced sexual harassment. She said that she was molested by an unknown person inside the building where she lives in Mumbai. However, she filed an FIR. She said, “Luckily, I take martial arts classes and managed to kick him real hard..And screamed so he ran away…But Mumbai is suffocatingly unsafe”.
Sonam Kapoor revealed in an interview with Rajeev Masand that she was molested when she was younger. The actress called the experience “traumatising.”
Actress-turned-writer Twinkle Khanna also accused TVF CEO Arunabh Kumar of sexual harassment. Twinkle, who is known to speak her mind without mincing her words, took a dig at Kumar and explained why she doesn’t find it okay for men to call women “sexy” at workplace.