Shama Sikander says ‘casting couch’ exists everywhere, recalls own experience

Published on Sep 15, 2022 05:07 PM IST

Shama Sikander has revealed how some well-known film producers once wanted to become ‘friends’ with her before offering her work. She added that casting couch experiences are everywhere, including Bollywood.

Shama Sikander on her casting couch experience in Bollywood.
Shama Sikander on her casting couch experience in Bollywood.

Actor Shama Sikander opened up about casting couch experiences in Bollywood and how things have improved over the years. In a new interview, without taking names, she said a few established producers and makers wanted to be ‘friends’ with her. The actor said that the concept of asking for sexual favours in return for work is the ‘lowest of low.’

Shama is best known for TV shows like Yeh Meri Life Hai, CID, Man Mein Hai Vishwas and others. Besides TV, she has been a part of several Hindi films, ever since she starred in Aamir Khan’s 1999 film Mann. She last appeared in Bypass Road which was released in 2019.

In an interview, Shama narrated her casting couch experience in Bollywood. She told Bollywood Life, “The industry has changed so much and for good. Today, young producers are far more professional and treat people respectfully. They do not have the notion of sex for work. In the past, I have had producers tell me that they wanted to be friends with me. I was like, how can we be friends if we do not work together. I feel the whole concept of asking for sex in return for work is the lowest of low. I mean, you have to be a terribly insecure human being to do that. Some of these producers and makers were well-established names in the industry. It shows that you do not have an iota of confidence that you can win over a woman's heart in an organic manner. But casting couch is not limited to Bollywood alone. It happens everywhere.”

Shama added that one cannot blame the entire industry for those practicing casting couch. “I feel that evil exists in every person, which is why some people think they can degrade others in this way. One needs to address that devil that resides in your mind," she added. Shama tied the knot with her boyfriend James Milliron a few months back. She is currently gearing up for her comeback.

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