Tanushree Dutta on her sexual harassment experience and why Bollywood hasn't had its #MeToo moment
Tanushree Dutta has shied away from the limelight for a long time now, but in an interview with News18, the actress stated that the reason behind #Metoo's failure to gain traction in Indian film industry is because of the country's hypocritical nature.
Tanushree, in 2008, had accused an unnamed actor of misbehaving with her during the shoot of a number on the sets of Horn OK Please, adding that she felt so uncomfortable that she had to eventually opt out of the song.
In the interview, the Aashiq Banaya Aapne actor said that while everyone around her was well aware of the incident, hardly anyone condemned the act. "So, my question is, ‘Who is going to believe these hypocrites?’ These are the people who stand up and raise their voice against women empowerment,” said Tanushree, pointing out Bollywood’s deafening silence over sexual harassment.
Tanushree admitted to having had a very complicated year, describing all the ways the perpetrator tried to intimidate her. "He was grabbing me by the arms, pushing me around then he would ask the choreographers to move and teach me how to dance, and the next thing I know he wanted to do an intimate sequence with me. It was ridiculous.” When she declared that she was uncomfortable with his proximity, he allegedly asked help from members of a political party, who broke Tanushree's car.
The incident took a toll on the actress, and she developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite being offered over 30 films, the actress refused to work in any, slowly recoiling into a shell to heal herself. She moved to the US soon after.
The actress further said that while she does not mind if she is paid less in the industry, she expects everyone treat her at par with any other superstars.
Tanushree underlined that she would continually bring the issue to the surface till justice is meted out to her. She said that while Bollywood on one hand talks about women empowerment, it has maintained a stoic silence on her incident and has also continued working with the perpetrator.
Tanushree Dutta appeared last in Jag Mundhra’s Apartment in 2010. The actress, who has been part of such films as Dhol, Good Boy Bad Boy, Bhagam Bhag and 36 China Town, was recently rumoured to participate in the twelfth season of Bigg Boss, along with sister Ishita.
The year 2017 witnessed the fall of one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein, after a number of women accused the producer of sexual assault and rape, in an investigation conducted by The New Yorker and The New York Times. The campaign gathered enormous momentum and encouraged women from all walks of life to come forward and share their stories, birthing the global phenomenon #Metoo.
However, despite the movement's success in the West, the Indian film industries were hardly impacted by it. Only a few actresses like Radhika Apte, Richa Chadda, Swara Bhasker and Konkona Sen Sharma expressed their solidarity with the movement using the #MeToo hashtag.
Updated Date: Sep 25, 2018 15:07:13 IST