The #MeToo movement in Hollywood brought forward the deep-rooted culture of sexual harassment in the film industry. Not many but few B-town celebrities have also opened up about their experience with the dreaded word- casting couch.
Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan passed a shocking comment on casting couch in Bollywood during a press conference.
The talented choreographer who made the likes of Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit dance to her steps, said that casting couch also existed in government sector and only the entertainment industry shouldn't be blamed, a report in ANI said.
The three-time National Award winner said the people who indulge in casting couch at least give work to girls and don’t abandon them after rape. The Hawa Hawai choreographer added that the old-age practice was prevalent since quite a lot of time.
Yeh chala aa raha hai Baba azam ke zamaane se. Har ladki ke upar koi na koi haath saaf karne ki koshish karta hai. Govt ke log bhi karte hain. Tum film industry ke peeche kyun pade ho? Woh kam se kam roti toh deti hai. Rape karke chhod toh nahi deti: Saroj Khan on Casting Couch. pic.twitter.com/xvHxSbvhzg— ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2018
Yeh ladki ke upar hai ki tum kya karna chahti ho. Tum uske haath mein nahi aana chahti ho toh nahi aaogi. Tumhare paas art hai toh tum kyun bechoge apne aap ko? Film industry ko kuch mat kehna, woh humaara mai-baap hai: Saroj Khan on Casting Couch. pic.twitter.com/kYpPAPWMtB— ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2018
Saroj Khan received a lot of flak from fellow industry members and Twitterati. The Ek Do Teen choreographer, while talking to CNN News 18, apologised for her comments.
Popular singer Sophie Choudry took to Twitter to condemn her comments. The Pyaar Ke Side Effects actress wrote, ''So much respect for Saroj-ji as a choreographer but this is how she uses her position to protect girls?!!! If I didn’t come from a financially sound background I would have returned to London within a month of being in Mumbai cos of “industry folk” who think like that!!’’
Aspiring Telugu actress Sri Reddy, who openly staged a strip protest against casting couch in Tollywood slammed Saroj’s statement, while talking to ANI.
I lost respect for you Saroj ma'am. Being an elder you should give a good path to young actresses. It is giving a wrong indication that you have to be a slave to producers: Sri Reddy (actress who alleged that women are sexual exploited by producers) on Saroj Khan's remark. pic.twitter.com/I9TWmLahrX— ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2018