Last year was dedicated to the women in Hollywood. What started as a movement against one pervert, Harvey Weinstein soon became so much more. Stories came out and illustrious cinema names opened up about the horrors of the entertainment industry.
The scandal which unfurled like a domino effect lead to positive movements like the #MeToo campaign, which broadened the horizon to real women sharing the harrows of daily life. It called for the Time’s Up movement and for an entire industry to stand in black against the rampant sexual violence that infested it.
But what about our very own Bollywood?
Ileana D’Cruz opens up about the problem of the casting couch which is a stark reality in Bollywood even today. In an interview with Bombay Times, she says,
“It might sound cowardly, but I do agree that if you speak out about the casting couch, it will end your career.”
She shared an incident when a budding artiste came to her and asked for career advise after being approached by a prominent South Indian producer. She adviced that it would have to be her own decision and no one could take a call on her behalf. “Many people have done it and it’s up to her whether she wants to go ahead and do it or not”, the Barfi actor guided.
Further putting her point across she spoke about the stakes it will take for the truth to come forth. Ileana said,
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Clarifying her stand, the Rustom actor made it very clear that she completely condemns harassment. She said, “As far as exploitation and harassment is concerned, I wouldn’t stand for it.”
Another incident of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry cropped up when actor Kevin Spacey was accused of assaulting a 14 year old boy. Talking about this matter, Ileana said,
“I can’t watch Kevin Spacey’s show anymore, though I have loved it earlier because he has been accused of harassment. It disgusts me as a person.”
In December last year, many Bollywood stars too spoke about the sexist atmosphere in the industry. Including Richa Chadha who bore it all, saying, “Bollywood will lose heroes if we talk about sexual harassment.”
Tinsel town, however glamorous it looks from the outside, does hide many demons behind closed doors. It’s high time we acknowledge them in order to rectify them.