Bollywood is one of the most alluring industries, especially to the youth. A lot of people with their big dreams and hopes come to Mumbai every year to fulfill their ambition. But do we actually know among those lakhs of people, how many get a chance to at least feel their dream once. Or should I say how many people actually get a fair deal to prove themselves?
Casting Couch Has Been There In Bollywood From A Long Time
Like any other Bollywood fan, I was also very fond of this glamour world. Whether it’s shooting on beautiful locations, meeting iconic stars, attending elegant award nights, it all looks so dreamy. But nobody really get to see the ugly kitchen behind it until someone throws light on it.
Recently, the #MeToo campaign was started by Bollywood and Hollywood actors to bring attention towards this unethical exercise. It was one of the most popular initiatives to put an end to this practice.
Even in the past few years especially in Bollywood, many actors have come forward to reveal dark secrets. Some of them have gone through experiences for which it really requires courage to talk about in public platforms.
Let’s go through some of our most favorite celebrities who faced uneasy situations in real life and spoke about it in public. I am sure, you will be surprised…
A little while back in an interview, Ranveer Singh talked about one of his unpleasant experience at the starting of his career. During his early days of his Bollywood career he showed his portfolio to a person whose name he did not disclose. Ranveer got to know about his real intentions to which he said ‘No’. He also exclaimed that casting couch actually exists in reality in this industry. And it all depends whether you want to get over the situation or become the victim of it.
One of the most talented actresses opened up on this issue while having a conversation with an online portal. She said, though she never became a victim of the casting couch, still she remembers a lot of cases where people have gone through such exploitation. Later, she also added that once a south Indian actor tried to hit on her but she rudely rejected him. Due to this she had to face huge altercation later. Moreover, when she got an offer from Bollywood once, she was asked to sleep with the respective person to which she frankly asked him to “Go to hell”.
“Vicky Donor” famed actor Ayushmann Khurrana also had to face such experiences in his struggling days. He was asked to do favors by many of the casting directors in his television career for which he replied-“if I was not straight, I might have given it a thought, but I can’t do it.” He also added that it completely depends on us whether to choose this option. He doesn’t want to be judgmental about it. However, he believes that true potential is mere enough to achieve great success in this field.
The leading lady of “Mirzya” had also encountered such experiences. She feels women are mostly exploited in this industry. When she found herself caught in the similar situation, she strictly asked the lady to not to call her again. Saiyami revealed that with all these uneasy situations, it is hard to survive in Bollywood without any support.
When she was a nobody and just entered into the glamour world, she also became a victim of casting couch. This ‘Taare Zameen Par’ actress was approached by one of the famous directors of that time. However, she claimed that due to her sharp attitude she was able to escape from it.
Payal Rohtagi (ex-contestant of Bigg boss) also talked about her experience of casting couch. She openly alleged ‘Dibakar Banerjee’ for trying to take benefits of her in lieu of a role in his upcoming movie. She revealed that one day Dibakar came to her house. He poked her for gaining weight and asked to show her waist. However, when she refused and asked him to leave, he stopped answering her calls and messages and the role eventually was also offered to someone else.
This elegant beauty did not face any exploitation in Bollywood as such. Though she claimed that she had to go through some ill-treatment down South. Despite such hardships, she maintained her dignity and improved her work in best possible ways.
This was one of the most controversial cases ever in regard to the Casting couch. The lady lodged a complaint against the most renowned director ‘Madhur Bhandarkar’ claiming that she was raped by him 16 times. After a long process, the court finally exempted him from all the charges in 2012 as no evidence was found against him.
The former model and actress of Bollywood who had delivered many successful movies stated that she was asked for sexual favors by director ‘Rajkumar Santoshi’ on the sets of ‘China gate’. When she denied for such favors, her role was shortened in the movie and had to compromise further movies lined up for her.
Priyanshu was among one of the most adorable stars who delivered us beautiful movies like Tum Bin, Dil Ka Rishta etc. In 2015, he revealed that he was asked for sexual benefits by someone in return for a movie. However, he refused for such things and hence the role was not offered to him.
This elegant beauty disclosed how she was forced into a sex scene in the movie ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’. She also alleged his director Kushal for using vulgar language while performing the scene. After this incident, she immediately left the movie.
There are actors like Kangana Ranaut, Ranbir Kapoor, Kalki Koelchin, Jackky Bhagnani and many more who share their views in vein. Though none of them has faced casting couch in their career but truly discourage this practice as it is a disrespect of both art and talent.
Even Shyam Benegal the very talented director and writer believes that things are not one-sided. He said that if someone is talented there is no need to accept such demands. He also added that it is the story of almost every profession and not mere Bollywood industry.
Recently, a controversial statement by the renowned choreographer Saroj Khan on this matter is getting the hype on all platforms for which she was really discouraged by most celebs. She also added that casting couch at least provides livelihood and that it does not rape you and leave you.
However, later she also apologized for the same.
Casting couch not only involves exploiting someone at the cost of a promising career. But at a deeper level, it is a deterioration of humanity which is creating a lot of needless pressure. If this could be prohibited, the industry could get a lot more potent talent for this tinsel town.
What do you feel about such practices of casting couch?