The debate over casting couch having its deep roots in the entertainment industry, including Bollywood, has intensified like never before. Participating in the #MeToo movement, a number of actresses from Bollywood and Tollywood have spoken up about the existence of casting couch. Some of these actresses, such as Telugu actresses Sri Reddy and Sandhya Naidu have even shared their shocking stories of the casting couch.
Sri Reddy went a step ahead and carried out a protest against the issue by stripping on the street in front of the cameras. She even exposed a few names like Abhiram Daggubati and Kona Venkat.
Meanwhile, Saroj Khan defended casting couch saying that it has been existing since the time immemorial and that it is better than rape. The veteran choreographer had to apologize for her remarks after a huge backlash. On the other hand, the star cast of ‘Veerey Di Wedding’, Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Swara Bhaskar ducked the questions on the issue.
Amidst all this, two actress Radhika Apte and Usha Jadhav have shared their own chilling stories. In ‘Bollywood’s Dark Secret’ by BBC, a documentary film, Radhika Apte revealed that some people are hailed as god in Bollywood. These people are immensely powerful and therefore actresses do not speak against them, as they fear that their career may get ruined.
As per a report by Mid-Day, in BBC’s documentary, Radhika said:
“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.”
Usha Jadhav, a national award-winning Marathi actress also narrated her experience of being subjected to the casting couch. She said:
“No, no, no, no. It’s not about money, it’s about who you are sleeping with, maybe it can be a producer, maybe it can be a director, it can be both too.”