Vikram Bhatt: Casting couch is just the tip of the iceberg; there’s much more under the water
The debate on casting couch in Bollywood is far from getting over. Many artists have shared incidents and stories that hint at prevalence of sexual exploitation in Indian film industries, and filmmaker Vikram Bhatt says, “It’s just the tip of the iceberg and there’s much more under the water.”
Agreeing that a lot of people in Bollywood take advantage in the name of giving work, Bhatt explains, “Sexual harassment at the workplace is not limited to films. It’s a problem everywhere in the world, in every big corporate. It’s the sad truth.”
The filmmaker, however, reveals that he has never seen any such thing happening in front of him. “Fortunately for me, [among] the people I have worked with — as an assistant, the production house I have worked for — I haven’t seen anything like this happen in front of my eyes. [But] one hears stories all the time — casting agents wanting their pound of flesh and some director, probably in music industry, too. But, for me, it’s hearsay,” says Bhatt.
It’s noteworthy that nobody has named any violators yet, which can help this menace from exploiting more people. Can’t anything be done to stop that? “I don’t know, perhaps we can,” says Bhatt, adding, “But a lot of this happens behind closed doors. A lot of girls, out of fear of their ambitions not [getting fulfilled], keep quiet. That’s what happens. The sad part [is] the choice [is] between ambition and humiliation, and what choice can you make!”
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