Metrolife: Weinstein is finally exposed. But what's the scene here?

Metrolife: Weinstein is finally exposed. But what's the scene here?

Harvey Weinstein

The arrest of movie producer Harvey Weinstein on charges of rape and sexual misconduct has brought out into the open a problem often spoken about but rarely tackled: the casting couch.

The Indian film industry has its share of men preying on girls looking for roles. Telugu actor Sri Reddy is among the very few to have spoken out against the practice. 

Industry insiders say girls find it difficult to talk about the casting couch, given how society often shames the victims rather than the perpetrators.

Metrolife spoke to some actors and directors for their perspective. 

Harvey’s case has taken a long time. He has abused people for 20 years. It is sad that in Hollywood, where women are more independent and confident, such incidents happened. Women in India are scared to talk because they fear for their careers.The few women who complain about sexual harassment have disappeared: their careers are killed right away. I don’t think women will have the courage to come out and speak unless they are given protection and assured justice.”

RAMESH ARAVIND, actor and director,
Tamil and Kannada films Human rights in India is in a very dismal condition. Sometimes it bothers me that the powers that be take things for granted. But I see a big difference
over the last 20 years. Women are speaking out. Every case should be treated with respect and we expect fast delivery of justice.”

IRA DUBEY, Bollywood actor
“There’s something endemic about the idea of the casting couch. To be very frank, I have not experienced anything myself but I think that it is also a very conscious choice. I believe women have a choice.There’s always that moment when you can say no. I also believe we have to fight to get out of the patriarchal culture that we are living in. I admire women like Kangana Ranaut and Priyanka Chopra who are real game changers, but we don’t know what troubles and struggles they went through to get where they are today.”

POOJA CHOPRA, Bollywood actor:

“Women in the Indian film industry, who have been subject to some form of sexual abuse, don’t want to talk about it because they fear will lose their opportunities and others will be
apprehensive about working with them. When you are in the lake, you don’t want to make enemies with the crocodile, do you? Not everybody wants openly to fight against the powerful. Women don’t come out because they fear a backlash. I wish the justice system were faster here.”

“It happens in all fields. But it becomes news in the film industry because of the glamour attached to it. The good thing is that people, especially women, are now talking about it. That is a positive change.”