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CASTING COUCH: Darkest side of the Indian Film Industry


She said she had to sleep with a hero to get a role for 2 minutes in a movie, this is the allegation that Kangana Ranaut has made as she opens another pandora’s box with regards to the shady world of Bollywood. What she claims she did sounds like the classic case of what we know as the casting couch and is one of the most disturbing practices in the world of entertainment.

Casting couch refers to the practice of soliciting sexual favors from someone who wants a role or a job in a particular movie, TV Show, scene, or more. In the United States, casting couch is illegal but in India, it has become common practice. In a fiery interview with Times Now, Kangana Ranaut made revelations about the industry and said that stardom comes only to those who “please: the lead male actors or the filmmakers.

She said, “ when I came in, women-only did item numbers. But there needs to be someone who chooses you. There are expectations from heroines to behave like wives on set”. She said that everything started to unravel for Bollywood as Sushant Singh Rajput’s death came into the limelight, and along with Bollywood’s drug racket.

Actresses like Surveen Chawla, Kalki Koechlin, Tisca Chopra, and Sameera Reddy have all spoken up about the culture of the casting couch and how they were all approached by several filmmakers and actors to do sexual favors for them in order to get better roles. Not just women but also male actors like Ayushmann Khurana faced the same problem. Filmmakers like Dibaker Banerjee, Rajkumar Santoshi, Karan Johar, Madhur Bhandarkar are have all been accused of partaking in casting. What is more disturbing is that the culture does not seem to fade away, and only grows in nature.

Female actresses are not seen as talented heroines but as people who can provide something to the directors and the male actors. The statistics of male sexual harassment cases in Bollywood as compared to female sexual harassment cases, which is alarming and sad at the same time.

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