Telugu actor Sri Reddy strips on the street to protest against ‘casting couch’
Telugu actor Sri Reddy on Saturday stripped herself in front of the Movie Artistes Association (MAA)’s office in Hyderabad to protest against the alleged trend of “casting couch” in the Telugu film industry.
The actor was among the first in the Telugu film industry to respond to “Me Too” campaign against sexual harassment of women and has been vocal against sexual exploitation of aspiring female artistes in the industry.
She came to the MAA office at Film Nagar in the upscale Jubilee Hills in the afternoon and suddenly started removing her clothes one after the other and then squatted in front of the office half-naked.
She told the media that she had to go topless only to expose the indifferent attitude of the association towards her complaint on the existing “casting couch” trend in the Telugu film industry.
She alleged that the producers and directors were importing heroines from Mumbai and Chennai, denying roles to the local heroines despite them being talented.
“The reason is simple. Heroines from other states would go to any extent to satisfy the big people in Tollywood, whereas the local artistes are not so bold,” she alleged.
Two days ago, Sri Reddy took to Facebook to express her desire to meet chief minister K Chandrasekahr Rao to discuss about the trend in the Tollywood. She threatened to go nude in public, if the chief minister did not bother to give her audience.
Sri Reddy also accused movie artistes’ association of denying her a membership just because she questioned the wrong-doings in the film industry. “I will make it a big issue at the national and international level, if my demands are not met,” she said.
The Jubilee Hills police after coming to know about the protest rushed to the spot and took her into custody.
Assistant commissioner of police K Srinivasa Rao said Sri Reddy had refused to lodge a formal complaint about her grievances against the film industry. “She said she is denied opportunities. We assured her that we would take action if she gives us specific complaint. But, she is reluctant”, he said.