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What is ‘Casting Couch’? Exposing Dark secrets of Indian film industry

India is the largest producer of movies. Bollywood, Kollywood, Tollywood and other regional cinema industries together produce more movies than any nations in the world. The Indian film industry has seen quite a lot of new faces in every passing year. The ones with a natural ability to act well have always managed to attract the fans at the best scene. It’s only because of the talent, actors and actresses carved out a reputation for themselves as successful celebrities.

Well, it doesn’t matter where and when you were born but if you are cut out for acting, then you are bound to come through with flying colours in the film industry. On the dark side, it is not easy to survive in the movie industry. At times, female models will have to listen to the director’s words to get a role in movies.

What is 'Casting Couch'? Exposing Dark secrets of Indian film industry
Credits: Filmbeat Hindi

There have been several instances where directors have told the actresses to do dirty stuff in order to get a role. Some directors stooped to a low and have asked sexual favours from female models.

What is casting couch?

Casting couch is something which has been happening behind the scenes and it is not at all a new concept rather it is as old as our civilization. People started noticing it very recently. Several actresses have been a victim of harassment in the Film Industry as well.

The casting couch is a practice of asking sexual favours from a job applicant in exchange for a job in the entertainment industry, especially acting roles. Casting couch originally referred to physical couches in the casting office. This practice is termed illegal in the United States.

Male casting directors, as well as, film producers use the casting couch in a bid to extract sex from ambitious actresses in Hollywood, Bollywood and other segments of the cinema industry.

Time and again the actresses have spoken up against casting couch and harassment. Previously, #MeToo movement hit the headlines which exposed some popular names from several professional fields across the country.

With feminism and women empowerment becoming the most-talked subjects, actresses in the Bollywood film industry have become more open about prevalent issues.

We have attached below some bold statements given by actresses.

Director asked me to remove clothes and dance in front of them- Tanushree Datta

Big Hero’s Director father wanted to sleep with me to get a role – Yashika Anand

Directors wanted to sleep with me: Elli AvrRam on casting-couch

There are people in the industry who ask you to sleep with them to get a role: Parvathy

Now, let’s take a look at some of the actresses who have faced casting couch in their careers.

1. Surveen Chawla:

Bollywood actress Surveen Chawla has opened up about her casting couch experience. The beautiful actress started her career in Bollywood with her bold style in the movie “Hate Story 2” in 2014. She has faced the casting couch in the southern film industry but she never gave up and continued her hard work.

(Credits: postoast.com)

2. Kalki Koechlin:

Kalki Koechlin is one of the most prominent female actors in Bollywood. She has shared her experience in regards to the casting couch. Kalki simply rejected the offers when she was asked to compromise for that.

(Credits: postoast.com)

3. Ayushmann Khurrana:

Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana revealed that during the early days of his career, a casting director asked him to show his tool and he politely refused the offer.

(Credits: postoast.com)

4. Kangana Ranaut:

Actress Kangana Ranaut has had a tough journey in Bollywood. The Queen actor revealed that she was asked for sexual favors in almost all her auditions, but she had full faith in her capabilities and talent and never fell for such sleazy and promiscuous casting agents.

(Credits: nettv4u.com)

5. Ranveer Singh:

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh has revealed in one of his interviews, “Casting couch is a very real thing. I have experienced it first-hand”. The handsome actor always believes in his talent, hence he never ever compromised on such things.

(Credits: postoast.com)

6. Tisca Chopra:

Tisca Chopra herself revealed to media how she was once approached for something like this but instead of compromising on such stuff she never put her dignity down.

(Credits: postoast.com)

7. Rakhi Sawant:

Bollywood actress Rakhi Sawant has admitted to being a victim of the casting couch. In the beginning, she faced the casting couch but she learnt to say no and used her talent as an artiste to make her way through life.

(Credits: indianexpress.com)

8. Maushmi Udeshi:

The actress candid about her experiences in B-town: “Unless you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth and belong to one of those powerful star families which have a great influence on Bollywood, people tend to take you for granted”.

(Credits: postoast.com)

9. Preeti Jain:

The infamous casting couch scandal in B-town is the Preeti Jain’s case which created massive controversy by putting allegations on the famous director Madhur Bhandarkar. The case was finally closed in 2012 when the Supreme Court acquitted Bhandarkar from the case.

(Credits: postoast.com)

10. Sameera Reddy:

Revealing about casting couch the prominent actress said, “It takes two hands to clap. Nobody is a victim. We are all just players”.

(Credits: postoast.com)

11. Priyanshu Chatterjee:

The Tum Bin actor said about the casting couch, “I was asked for a sexual favour by this man who promised me a film in return. But I didn’t believe him, and was right in doing so since the film wasn’t made”.

(Credits: postoast.com)

12. Mamta Kulkarni:

Bollywood actress Mamta Kulkarni has opened up a shocking story, which nobody had ever imagined before. The beautiful actress revealed that Director Rajkumar Santoshi had been disrespectful towards her during the shooting of China Gate.

(Credits: postoast.com)

13. Suchitra Krishnamoorthi:

Bollywood actress Suchitra Krishnamoorthi has revealed that she went through a harrowing experience of casting couch during the early days of her career.

(Credits: postoast.com)

14. Sambhavna Seth:

The Bhojpuri actress also revealed that whether male or female nobody is spared here from the issue of the casting couch. She has also been the victim of harassment.

(Credits: postoast.com)

15. Payal Rohatgi:

Payal Rohatgi has also gone through the casting couch. She was once asked for sexual favours in exchange for a film role, but Payal simply refused the offer. She had lost several roles for not agreeing with conditions.

(Credits: desiblitz.com)

Written by Sagar Abhinandan

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