Actor Manvi Gagroo shares her story of being asked to “compromise” – the casting couch clearly hasn’t gone anywhere.
Bollywood attracts wannabe actors from around India flocking towards Mumbai and struggling to make a mark in the industry. While heirs from the filmi families get the benefit of backing from their parents and know how to course through the Bollywood lanes, those from ordinary backgrounds face an intense struggle and stiff competition.
In this competitive industry, film producers and casting directors hold positions of high power because they are the stepping stones that will lead you towards your dreams. A phone call from a producer is like a god sent gift. However, this has given them a lot of power and sadly, since a long time, they have been exploiting it.
Cases of sexual abuse and exploitation have been around from the early days of the film industry, and many women went through it to land their dream role. As shocking and tragic as it was, it was the truth.
After the rise of the #Metoo Movement, women have stood up and raised their voices regarding this exploitation. Some many female actors poured out the pain that they suffered, hoping that the coming generations don’t suffer it too.
The tragedy is that this practice still continues. Actress Manvi Gagroo of Four More Shots Please fame revealed in an interview, her experience when a producer called her about a movie role. The producer told her about the budget which she felt was very less; nonetheless she wanted to know the script, hoping to discuss money later if the script was good. The producer tripled his offer but said that “you have to make a compromise.”
Manvi says she was furious and verbally abused him, telling him that she would file a complaint with the police. She was stunned even more because she had thought that such unethical practices would have stopped after the #MeToo movement. But, the reality is very different. Showbiz producers continue to exploit the women who pursue their dreams of the silver screen.
It’s evident that things need to change a lot more in Bollywood at the ground level.
Image is a screengrab from Four More Shots Please
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Radhika Srivastava is an 19 year old writer from Varanasi, India. She believes that writing
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