Sexual harassment exposes in Hollywood and the name of the American film producer, Harvey Weinstein has become famously infamous in recent times. Women in the industry had borne the brunt as they were too scared to lose their jobs or their name if at all they became vocal about the atrocities they faced on a regular basis. Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano was the first person to start the #MeToo campaign to encourage women in the film industry and in the society to talk about the harassment they faced in their lives and received resounding public support.
In India, too, Bollywood actresses have fallen victim to the casting couch. In fact, actresses are approached for sexual favors in lieu of future projects assigned to them by the directors and producers. Many actresses have been lured in this fashion, who suffer silently as they are too worried to tar their name in the glamorous industry.
But actress Richa Chadha has been the first person to outrightly talk about what goes on behind the scenes. She had written a bold essay describing vividly about how the innocent actresses are lured by the ruthless directors and producers of Bollywood as soon as the #MeToo campaign gained momentum across the globe. Swara Bhaskar is also open to talk about such events, provided they are promised proper protection.
She wrote “For a country where violence against the girl child starts in the womb, I am surprised at the number of people surprised at the enormity of the #MeToo campaign. Unless you have been in hibernation in the Himalayan caves for the past millennium, there’s no way you would not know that sexual assault – verbal or visual, and gender violence are the rites of passage for the average Indian girl.”
The actress, although has been bold and open about her views, has requested for protection and security from the media if they want a detailed account and the names of those who are the Weinsteins of Bollywood.
In fact, other famous actresses who have made to the top level today have had a tough beginning wherein they have been victims of some sort of sexual harassment during their early days.
It is starkly noticeable that the influential families of Bollywood never even talk about sexual harassment and have never come out to support their fellow actresses who may be victims of the casting couch.
Bollywood unhesitantly portrayed the sad story of Silk Smitha, an actress who had scaled great heights in the South Indian film industry, in The Dirty Picture, played by the very talented Vidya Balan in an attempt to show how actresses fall prey to the sex symbol status. Another movie by the famous director, Madhur Bhandarkar, Fashion, discusses the dark secrets of the glamour world, be it the film industry or the fashion industry.
It is high time people in the industry as well as in media provide enough support to all the victims of sexual harassment and punish the culprits involved in such heinous acts in the highest level so as to put a full stop to such untold crimes rocking the country.