Radhika Apte is one of the finest actresses of our generation. She is one outsider who has successfully pushed the boundaries of cinema. She has always strived to do courageous roles and her recent film, ‘Parched’, is one fine example of it.
Being an outsider and getting into the Bollywood industry which is jammed with nepotism and casting couch, is quite a difficult journey. Some make it, some don’t and most of them become the victims of sexual harassment. The ones in power, the big producers, use newcomers to seek sexual pleasure.
We all are aware of the actresses who recently opened about the sinful stories of Hollywood biggie, Harvey Weinstein. More power to the brave actresses for standing up.
Bollywood is no different from Hollywood. Radhika Apte spoke about the sexual abuse that exists in this industry. It is surprising to see that it is not limited to just women, but men face harassment, too. She says,
I am specifically talking about the industry, I know a lot of men who have gone through this as well. It’s high time this comes out. People who exploit their power and abuse others need to be revealed. On the other hand, people are ambitious and are ready to do what is required. It needs to work from both the sides.
She says that Bollywood is just another workplace, not some magical place that it is made out to be. She continues,
The fear is there because we still have this culture where Bollywood is considered to be this inaccessible, magical place. But it’s not. It’s a workplace. Work ethics need to be introduced at every level. That’s happening. But people have to come out and start taking names. The fear also comes from, ‘Who is going to believe me? The other person has so much power. My complaint will go unnoticed, that’ll ruin my career.’ That’s the perception. I think more people need to speak up.
She finally adds that the only way to escape sexual abuse is to say ‘NO’ and speak up,
You need to learn to say no and need to recognize when you’re being exploited. You will get your due, according to your talent. At some time. Some people come here running away from home. They have nothing to fall back on. A better organization, rules, and transparency will help a lot.