Swara Bhaskar says sexual harassment is the reason why 'mothers accompanied actresses to shoots'

Swara Bhaskar, Tisca Chopra and Padampriya speak up on bollywood's sexual harassers and how casting couch is still prevalent in the Indian film industry

FP Staff December 13, 2017 16:05:25 IST
Swara Bhaskar says sexual harassment is the reason why 'mothers accompanied actresses to shoots'

After a massive wave of sexual harassment allegations swept through Hollywood, conjectures about Bollywood's Harvey Weinstein have also been widespread. Now, prominent actors Swara Bhaskar and Tisca Chopra, from the Indian film industry have spoken about the "harassers" of Bollywood.

In an interview with The Guardian, the actresses, without naming anyone say that casting couch is prevalent in Bollywood and that they themselves have faced incidents which put them in a tight spot.

Swara Bhaskar says sexual harassment is the reason why mothers accompanied actresses to shoots

Swara Bhaskar. Image via Facebook

Swara Bhaskar recounts the days when she was fairly new to the industry and how one director tried to get too close to her. From texting her relentlessly to even banging her door at night in a drunken state, the director harassed Bhaskar, who is now prominent actress. Commenting on how casting couch is a long-standing practice in the film industry, she says, “Now I understand why in the olden days the actresses used to take their mothers on shoots."

She even takes names of some "serial harassers" off the record, which are reportedly "household names" in the country due to their prominence.

Tisa Chopra, too, maintains that it is planned in a way that there is no way out for some women. “They make situations uncomfortable and load choices in a way where if women want to get ahead, you have to do certain things,” another prominent actor, Tisca Chopra, says.

It is difficult for these aspiring actresses, a lot of whom come from small towns to speak up, as their lives depend on these powerful men who have the power to destroy their careers.

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