Kannada actor Ragini Dwivedi said she is quite surprised that none of the senior Sandalwood actors have spoken against or in favour of the #MeToo movement.
Speaking to media persons while promoting her upcoming movie ‘The Terrorist’ in Hubballi on Tuesday, Ragini said so far only one case of sexual harassment has been reported in the Kannada film industry.
However, at the same time, she said: “I am sure that all the senior actors will respond when the situation demands. They are supportive of the women actors in the industry."
Responding to allegations made by actor Sangeetha Bhat, who left the film industry "for good" after being sexually harassed for over a decade by various directors, Ragini said no one should suffer such a harrowing experience. And whenever someone is harassed, not just sexually, the victim should come forward and explain, the actor said.
She said, by god’s grace, she was never sexually harassed but was subjected to inequality. “The Kannada film industry does not treat women actors at a par with their male counterparts. The wage disparity and mentality has to change,” she said.
Ragini said the #MeToo movement has now ensured that people in power can no longer take new entrants for granted and harass them. This movement is a lesson for such people and also for the coming generation, she said.
Ragini also cautioned against people misusing a "great movement" by making false allegations and creating situations which never existed. This would dilute the movement and would cause greater damage, she said.
The other side
She also condemned a few "actors" who are "all over the people" and ready to compromise to gain "stardom, fame and money". “I have personally seen people, who are ready to compromise for anything to gain fame. That is wrong. It would deny an opportunity to hardworking and talented actors,” Ragini added.