Anubhav Sinha Says He Hired More Women Crew Since The #MeToo Movement. That’s Great But He’s One Of The Few
There is no doubt that Bollywood has been an extremely male-dominant industry to work in. From the way women are depicted in movies to the way they are treated on set, everything practically screams patriarchy. Then we adopted the #MeToo movement and it changed a few things. Of course, it powered women who have been sexually assaulted to come out and tell their side of the story which was awesome until it lasted. Do you know what else it did? Its instilled fear in the men and changed the way they viewed women, but that is not necessarily a good thing.
The reason I say that is because a lot of the prominent men in the industry (the people who actually hold the power) stopped employing women all together out of the fear that they would be “wrongly” accused. There was a backlash and a lot of women working on film sets lost their jobs because the filmmakers were too afraid that they would file a complaint against them, real or false. Employment opportunities for women in the industry at that point were extremely bleak. Yes, it is ridiculous as it sounds but that is what happened during the eye of the #Metoo storm.
But on the brighter side, there are filmmakers like Anubhav Sinha who not only understand the plight of women but are willing to bet on them when no one was. I think he is one of the few male directors who make women-oriented movies and actually do them justice. His latest movie Thappad is garnering a whole lot of praises as it should since it’s a realistic, hard-hitting and extremely well-made movie.
Also Read: Bollywood Is Making A Joke Of The Me Too Movement By Working With The Accused. Taapsee Pannu Says Keep Fighting!
The reason I feel like he is unlike other commercial filmmaker is that he does not shy away from presenting a woman’s reality on screen. Thappad, for instance, is a reflection of what happens behind closed doors in some houses, there is no fluff to the characters or the plot. Also, I love the fact that he agrees that while making a movie like Thappad, he asked a lot of women in the crew who were present on set for their opinions.
In a recent interview he was asked whether he felt like a woman director could tell a woman’s story better than a male director. He replied saying, “You are sort of right. But there were too many women around me and helping me, obviously Mrunmayee, then there’s a whole lot of for ADs (assistant director), costume team. I like to talk to the whole crew and take their opinions. Even on the sets, every time I was in doubt, I would turn to them and they have an opinion.”
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He was then asked what his thoughts were on the fact that after the #MeToo movement, women were not being hired in the industry, to which he replied, “Ever since the whole #MeToo happened, we hired more and more women in the crew. I told Sagar, hire as many women as we can. There should be only women in the team. There were always a lot of women on the sets. I am sure, even I am personally sensitive towards women. But you can’t give it all to me.”
This is exactly what makes stand apart from the rest of them and it is amazing. It is great that he added more women to his crew since the #MeToo movement. The only glitch here is that I wish he didn’t need the entire movement to realize that it is important to hire more women. I mean, shouldn’t he have done it even if the movement did not take place?
Regardless, it is great that he did not shy away from hiring women when his colleagues were too afraid to.