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A producer once threatened to exchange me with five other men: Kannada actor Sruthi Hariharan

Kannada actor Sruthi Hariharan says how she hasn’t got good offers from Tamil cinema since the incident.

regional movies Updated: Jan 19, 2018 13:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sruthi Hariharan,Parvathy,Rima Kallingal
Sruthi Hariharan works primarily in Kannada films.

It never ends, does it? Looks like India’s very own Harvey Weinsteins are finally popping out and leading the charge is a host of spunky South Indian actors. After Malayalam actors Parvathy and Rima Kallingal, now it is the turn of Kannada actor Sruthi Hariharan to talk about the harassment she faced in her career.

She spoke about her casting couch experience. Sruthi, who was part of the recent Kannada hit Humble Politician Nograj, recalled an incident when an influential producer threatened to ‘exchange’ her with five other men, reports Indian Express.

Speaking at the India Today conclave’s discussion titled Sexism in Cinema, she recalled, “One of the leading producers in Tamil Cinema bought the rights to my Kannada film and offered me the same role in the Tamil remake. He said, and I’m quoting him verbatim, ‘We are five producers and we will exchange you however we want. I retorted by saying that I carry a slipper with me in my hand’.”

Sruthi Hariharan in a shot from the Kannada film Tesla.

Post that incident, she stopped getting good offers in Tamil cinema as the word got around that she was difficult to work with. “Many producers who knew this man asked me if I actually said what I said. Since then, I have not received good projects from Tamil.”

She went on to say how this particular incident wasn’t the first time she was sexually harassed at the workplace. Her first brush with casting couch was as an 18-year-old when she acted in her first Kannada film. “I have had a casting couch (harassment) experience when I was 18 and on my first Kannada film. It did leave me so scared and petrified that I remember crying. When I told my dance choreographer about what happened, he told me that if I didn’t know how to handle this, I should leave,” she was quoted by Indian Express as saying.

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First Published: Jan 19, 2018 13:50 IST