Casting couch in Bollywood has been in news since long time and has become a hot topic of discussion. There are many celebrities who have spoken out in public, but have different opinion on the issue. Casting couch issue emerges once in blue moon, even though it has a great history in film industry. It is not new in Bollywood or any film industry it has been there since ages. But it becomes debatable topic only when it is raised by celebrities and after sometime the discussion disappears in the air. And now suddenly when Sri Reddy a Telugu actress blamed several film celebrities of molesting her, the film industries outrage can be seen, some are supporting her while some are against the accusation. So in this special feature we would look into the comments of the Indian celebrities who spoke on casting couch.
No one has come and confirmed it. I have been there for the longest time, my father has been here (for) more (time) than me. Till today I have not heard anyone come and say it straight out. If someone is there with a principle that you have to sleep with them to get a job then it is the most disgusting thing ever.
Shah Rukh Khan:
I’m very close to the women I work with. Nobody has said this. I’ve never personally been told on my sets
I have never faced it. If it’s there, it’s the worst kind.
He used to take me to the studio and he used to f**k me. He is the son of a top producer who is ruling the Telugu film industry. He used to force sex (on me). He would ask me to come to the studio and I said I will go only to talk, not for any sexual act. But after going there, he used to force (me to have) sex.
This has been happening since time immemorial. Anyone and everyone tries to get cozy with every girl. Even people in the government do it. Why are you after the film industry? At least the industry provides employment. It is not as if you are raped and abandoned. It’s upon the girl – what does she want to do? If you don’t want to be caught, you won’t. When you are an artiste, why will you sell yourself? Don’t say anything about the film industry. It’s like our mother-father.
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. The way the women, and the men, of course, came together and decided that as a team we are not going to let this happen, I wish that could happen here.
I think people are making mountain of molehill. There’s narrative that people in Bollywood are the worst&indulge in malpractices which isn’t the case. She meant to say it takes place in all industries, why is Bollywood being singled out?
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.
I have heard of people propositioning girls and women. People who had absolutely been fine with me going ahead and being nasty, threatening and propositioning other girls. And I would always wonder why. I do tell some of them that they shouldn’t keep quite about it. But they say, ‘I don’t want to be known for this controversy’. And there’s also fear that other producers won’t give you work. One doesn’t know if that was only because of lack of talent, determination or something of this sort. But it does seem like you speak about it, people won’t want to work with you.
Fortunately, I never had to go through the casting couch. Honestly, I feel somebody has to be really dumb to think that they’d get a role for sleeping around. And I have never been so dumb — not even at the age of 17 when I started my career. People should use their common sense. It’s stupid if you actually believe someone who tells you that he or she is giving you a role only if you please him or her. If the casting couch route was so easy, then all the women from the red light area would have been superstars today.
Apart from film fraternity politician Renuka Chowdhury also spoke on the issue and said “It is not just in the film industry. It happens everywhere and it is the bitter truth. Don’t imagine that Parliament is immune or other workplaces are immune to it. It is time that India stood up and said #MeToo”